Perlett case to go before appeals court

The Court of Appeal for Ontario finally will hear the arguments in the case of a Fort Frances man convicted of killing his parents almost 10 years ago.
Daniel Brodsky, the lawyer for Jamie Perlett, confirmed late yesterday that Perlett’s case will be heard Monday and Tuesday in Toronto.
Although he wouldn’t comment further prior to next week’s hearing, Brodsky did attest previously he’s convinced Perlett is innocent.
“The appeal is rooted in very firm ground,” he had said in a March, 2004 interview. “A new trial should be ordered and the prosecution’s attempt to resurrect the charges of first-degree murder dismissed out of hand.”
Perlett was sentenced to life imprisonment—with no 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 their Third Street East home.
The appeal hearing was granted after Brodsky made an application to adduce fresh evidence in Perlett’s case.
As first reported back in March 2004, 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 second has to do with Perlett’s recollection of events and the court’s exclusion of an expert’s opinion regarding the retrieval of memories of traumatic events.
The order sought by the defence in the appeal stated: “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, 2003 to have the charges against 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 initially charged with two counts of first-degree murder on Aug. 26, 1996. His parents both had been shot in the head with James Perlett’s target pistol on March 22, 1996.
During the trial, Perlett testified 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.
Perlett has been serving his sentence in Stony Mountain Penitentiary near Winnipeg.

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