Her Majesty the Queen v. Mark Edward Grant

(Manitoba) (Criminal) (By Leave)




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Criminal law - Evidence - Unknown third party suspect - Similar fact evidence - Whether the Manitoba Court of Appeal erred in overturning the trial judge’s decision not to admit the evidence of an alleged, unknown third party suspect?

Mr. Grant was convicted by judge and jury of second degree murder. On November 30, 1984, Candace Derksen, 13 years old, went missing after school and was never again seen alive. Her body was discovered on January 17, 1985, hogtied and frozen, in a shed in an industrial yard. She had died of hypothermia as a result of exposure. No one was arrested in connection with her death until May 16, 2007, when Mr. Grant was arrested and charged with first degree murder on the basis of newly obtained DNA testing. During the trial, a voir dire was held with respect to whether Mr. Grant could adduce evidence of an alleged, unknown third party suspect. That evidence related to an alleged abduction of P.W. on September 6, 1985, some nine months after Ms. Derksen’s body was found and while Mr. Grant was in custody. It was argued that the modus operandi and other physical evidence suggested that the same person had abducted both P.W. and Ms. Derksen.

Lower Court Rulings

February 18, 2011
Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba

Conviction on one count of second degree murder
October 30, 2013
Court of Appeal of Manitoba

AR 11-30-07585, 2013 MBCA 95
Conviction appeal allowed; new trial ordered