New trial sought in Perlett case

The lawyer for a Fort Frances man convicted of killing his parents almost eight years ago filed an appeal Tuesday for a new trial.
Jamie Perlett was sentenced to life imprisonment—without eligibility for parole for 18 years—in January, 1999 after being convicted on two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Carole and James Perlett while they slept in the Third Street East home.
“The appeal is not listed yet [i.e., no date has been set for argument],” Dan Brodsky wrote in an email to the Times yesterday. “Jamie has an application to adduce fresh evidence.”^This evidence is mainly in two areas—the first regarding determining the time the fatal shootings occurred through examination of the volume of blood loss and characteristics of shed blood.
The other has to do with Jamie Perlett’s recollection of events and expertise regarding the retrieval of memories of traumatic events.
“We have been given until the end of April to finish the crossexaminations on the new evidence and then a date will be set for the appeal,” said Brodsky, who previously has stated he’s always believed his client to be innocent.
He added the appeal will be heard sometime this year.
While the sentencing took place in early 1999, the appeal process has been slow, with Brodsky having to wait more than two years just to receive the court transcripts.
The appeal was made on the following grounds:
•the trial judge (Justice Terence Platana) erred in taking the theory of the defence away from the jury;
•the trial judge erred in his instruction on motive;
•the trial judge erred in his instruction on post-offence conduct;
•the trial judge erred in his instruction on demeanour evidence;
•the trial judge erred in failing to correct Crown counsel’s efforts to shift the burden of proof;
•the trial judge erred in excluding the evidence of Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist with a an expertise in memory; and
•the trial judge erred in admitting certain expert opinions expressed by post-mortem examiner Dr. Peter Pan, or in the alternative failing to give a proper limiting instruction on the evidence of Dr. Pan.
The order sought by the defence in the appeal states: “It is respectfully requested that the appeal against the directed verdict be dismissed and that the appeal against conviction be allowed and a new trial ordered on two counts of second degree murder.”^The Crown already had filed an appeal in September to have the charges against Jamie Perlett raised from second- to first-degree murder in the case of a new trial being called.
Perlett was arrested in Red Deer, Alta. and charged with two counts of first-degree murder on Aug. 26, 1996. His parents both had been shot in the head with the James Perlett’s target pistol on March 22, 1996.
During the trial, Perlett testified that he was awoken that night by the sound of gunshots. He said he ran upstairs and saw a man, dressed in black, carrying a gun.
Perlett said he grabbed for the gun, at which point the firearm discharged and he suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach.
A mistrial was declared in Perlett’s first trial in Thunder Bay in October, 1998.
At the conclusion of the Crown’s case in the second trial, a directed verdict was ordered on both counts of first-degree murder and the trial then proceeded on the lesser offences of second-degree murder.
After six days of deliberation in January, 1999, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on two counts of second-degree murder but made no recommendation as to parole ineligibility.
Perlett later was sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 18 years.
Perlett has been serving his sentence in Stony Mountain Penitentiary near Winnipeg.