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

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month