Dax Richard Mack v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Alberta) (Criminal) (By Leave)
(Publication ban in case) (Sealing order)
Criminal law - Evidence.
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Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Criminal law – Evidence – Whether applicant’s statements made to undercover officers should be excluded under s. 24(2) of the Charter – Adequacy of charge to the jury on the danger of relying on the statements of the applicant to undercover officers – Adequacy of instructions to the jury regarding the alternate suspect witness.
Dax Richard Mack, Robert Levoir and Michael Argueta went hunting on land owned by Mack’s father on November 6, 2002. Only Mack and Argueta returned. Levoir had been shot and killed. Soon after Levoir had been reported missing, Jay Love went to police saying that Dax Mack had confessed to killing Levoir. An undercover investigation ensued with undercover operators, posing as members of a criminal organization, approaching Mack to recruit him into the fictitious organization. Although the recordings of the utterances made by Mack to the operators were not admitted into evidence, as the authorizations for the wiretaps had been obtained in a manner that violated Mack’s Charter rights, the prosecution was permitted to adduce viva voce evidence from the undercover operators. At trial, Mack and Argueta blamed the other for the murder. The trial judge’s charge to the jury addressed how to assess the evidence of the undercover officers and the testimony of Argueta. Mack was convicted of first degree murder. His appeal to the Court of Appeal of Alberta was dismissed.
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