Cory James Lavallee v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Alberta) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law - Evidence, Admissibility, Confession - Criminal law — Evidence — Admissibility — Confessions — Confession ruled admissible —Whether the trial judge erred in finding the confession to be voluntary despite the failure of the Crown to call all material witnesses to testify at the voir dire — Whether the trial judge erred in failing to caution the jury about the dangers of a false confession.


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One night, the applicant, the victim, AM, and another male were drinking around a campfire. The victim was shot in the face and survived. The circumstances suggested that the crime was gang related. The applicant was arrested. The police conducted a lengthy interview, all of which was video and audio recorded. A voir dire was held prior to the commencement of trial to determine the admissibility of various statements, including the confession, made by the applicant while interviewed by the police. The evidence at the voir dire included the video recording of the police interview where the applicant confessed to shooting the victim, as well as testimony from police officers involved in the interrogation. At the conclusion of the voir dire, the trial judge determined that the confession was made voluntarily, which resulted in evidence of the confession being admissible at trial. At trial, the applicant testified and denied being the shooter and stated that it was AM who shot the victim. The applicant testified that he confessed to protect his family and he felt threatened. The applicant was convicted of attempted murder. The conviction appeal was dismissed.