The sister of Beverly Rowbotham says she's not pleased with Mark Stobbe's plans to publish two books about his murder trial, in which he was acquitted in Rowbotham's death.
Barb Kilpatrick says she wasn't impressed when she saw Stobbe speak in his first interview since he was found not guilty in March of second-degree murder in the death of Rowbotham, his wife.
"I think it's quite a bit of drama," Kilpatrick told CBC News.
In the interview, Stobbe told the CBC's Angela Johnston that he has written two books: one detailing his account of the trial, and another about his time in remand.
Stobbe said he will use the proceeds from book sales to cover his legal fees, but Kilpatrick said she thinks Stobbe should direct the money elsewhere.
"I think it would be very noble of him to donate the money to a scholarship in Beverly's name …[or perhaps] he could donate any money that he garnished from these books to hire somebody to find the real killer," she said.
Kilpatrick says she does not plan to read either of Stobbe's books.
Rowbotham killed in 2000
Stobbe, 53, had worked as a senior adviser to former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow before moving to Manitoba in the spring of 2000 for a job with Gary Doer's NDP government at the time.
The body of Rowbotham, 42, was found in the family car at a service station in Selkirk, Man, in October 2000.
She had 16 chop wounds to the head, according to autopsy results presented at trial.
The Crown argued that Stobbe struck Rowbotham repeatedly with a hatchet in the yard of their rural home in St. Andrews, Man., drove her body to Selkirk, then rode a bicycle 15 kilometres back home to report her missing.
Stobbe has maintained that he fell asleep while his wife went grocery shopping at the Selkirk Safeway in the late-night hours of Oct. 24, and woke up several hours later to find she had not returned.
The Crown's case was mostly circumstantial, as there were no witnesses and a murder weapon was never found.
Following a two-month trial in Winnipeg involving more than 80 witnesses, the jury found Stobbe not guilty on March 29.
'Court of public opinion'
The Crown has said it will not appeal the verdict.
In the interview, Stobbe said he has been having trouble finding employment since the trial ended — something that Kilpatrick said she was not surprised to hear.
"There is a court of public opinion out there," she said.
Stobbe is currently pursuing graduate studies in social sciences at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he lives with the two sons he had with Rowbotham.
At the time of Rowbotham's death, their sons were young boys. Kilpatrick said she tries to make sure the boys — who are now teenagers — know that Rowbotham was a wonderful mother.
"The only victim in this scenario is Beverly and her two boys," she said.