Crown lawyer tells B.C. bail hearing convicted killer had time to kill his wife

VANCOUVER — A Crown lawyer arguing against the bail release of a man already convicted of killing his common-law wife in British Columbia says Wade Skiffington had a 20-minute window of opportunity to commit the crime.

Hank Reiner told B.C. Supreme Court that Skiffington went to an apartment in Richmond in September 1994, knowing the friend who Wanda Martin was visiting would be out briefly.

Skiffington was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2001 based on a confession he provided to undercover police as part of a so-called Mr. Big operation that began five years after the murder.

The federal justice minister is reviewing the conviction after an appeal by defence lawyers with Innocence Canada, which works to exonerate people believed to have been wrongfully convicted.

Skiffington’s lawyers want him to be released on bail while the review is underway, likely for years, and are challenging the credibility of the undercover sting, which they say extracted a false confession.

Court has heard Martin was shot six times and the couple’s young son was left with his mother’s body.

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