Unger will be acquitted of grisly 1990 killing: source

Kyle Unger, who served 14 years in prison after being convicted in a teenage girl’s grisly slaying, is expected to walk out of a Winnipeg courtroom Friday with his freedom and name fully restored.

Kyle Unger with his mother

WINNIPEG — Kyle Unger, who served 14 years in prison after being convicted in a teenage girl’s grisly slaying, is expected to walk out of a Winnipeg courtroom Friday with his freedom and name fully restored.

But he won’t just be joining the list of Canadians wrongly convicted of murder. The Crown won’t simply stay the first-degree murder charge that has hung over Unger’s head, but will take the extra step of agreeing to have him formally acquitted, a source close to the case told The Canadian Press.

“This is the first time in (Manitoba’s) history this has happened,” the source said.

Unger was convicted, along with Timothy Houlahan, in the grisly death of Brigitte Grenier, who was beaten, sexually assaulted and mutilated at a rock concert southwest of Winnipeg in 1990.

Only 19 at the time, Unger was found guilty based largely on a questionable confession he gave to undercover police and a hair found on the victim’s clothing, which an RCMP expert testified belonged to Unger.

Unger maintained his innocence and DNA testing would eventually prove that the hair was not his. Questions also arose about the confession. Unger said he lied to the undercover officers, who told him they were drug dealers, because he wanted to work with them.

Unger was released from prison in 2005 and last March the federal justice minister ordered a new trial, saying in a written statement that a “miscarriage of justice likely occurred.”

Since then, the Crown has been working to decide whether to retry Unger, withdraw the charge — which would leave open the possibility of a retrial — or clear his name by agreeing to have him acquitted.

A retrial may have been a challenge to mount. The disproven hair was the only physical evidence linking Unger to the crime. The undercover sting that led to his confession has holes in it because his recount of the killing included several factual errors.

He told the undercover agents that he had killed Grenier on a bridge, which, in fact, wasn’t built until months after the killing.

The only witness who claimed to have seen Unger take part in Grenier’s killing was Houlahan. Houlahan’s conviction was overturned on appeal in 1994.

He committed suicide while awaiting a new trial.

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read