Sawyer Robison defence claims 'malicious prosecution'

A preliminary hearing was held in Camrose Monday for Sawyer Robison, who is accused of trying to kill two RCMP officers in February 2012.

Crown prosecutor dropped second-degree murder charges against Robison last week

Sawyer Robison's lawyer, Brian Beresh, spoke out Monday at the Camrose courthouse, calling the second degree charge laid against his client and later dropped an act of malicious prosecution. (CBC)

The lawyer for a man once accused of second-degree murder is blaming 'malicious prosecution' for the charge being made in the first place.

Sawyer Robison, who is accused of trying to kill two RCMP officers in a February 2012 standoff, made headlines last week after the RCMP dropped a second-degree murder charge for allegedly killing his uncle Bradford Clark.

“We’re very pleased with the decision that was finally made this morning, although we are disappointed that it took so long for the prosecution to realize this,” said Robison’s lawyer Brian Beresh, speaking outside of the Camrose courthouse on Monday.

While Beresh said his client is relieved he is no longer accused of killing his uncle, he said questions still remain about why it took eight months for RCMP lay the charge and almost a year before it was officially dropped.

Calling the murder charge an act of malicious prosecution, Beresh said, "In our view, there was never reasonable grounds for that charge to be laid,” he said.

Instead, he said it was based on “a convoluted view of some so-called police expert, [whose] view was subsequently changed when the defence provided information and which was subsequently confirmed by US experts that were hired in the case.”

“There is a view held by my client’s family that the charge was simply a reaction to protect the reputation of the RCMP and that it was not based upon any solid evidence,” he added.

Now, Beresh said the defence may ask for a public inquiry into why the second-degree murder charge was laid in the first place, the existence and timing of which has never been fully explained, he said. 

“There doesn’t appear to be a lot of logic to how things have unfolded”

Charges dropped

CBC News has confirmed charges were dropped after four American forensics experts weighed in on the evidence - all agreeing there was no proof Clark was murdered.

Alberta Justice spokesperson Michelle Davio said the crown prosecutor decided to drop the charge because there was no reasonable likelihood of a conviction.

Sawyer is still accused in the attempted murder of two Mounties as well as a number of weapons offenses.

The preliminary hearing is expected to continue through the rest of the week.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.