Dany Villanueva acquitted of armed robbery

Dany Villaneuva has been acquitted of a 2008 armed robbery charge, along with five alleged accomplices, in a ruling his lawyer says may bolster his case to avoid deportation to his native Honduras.
Dany Villanueva, at the Montreal courthouse. (Radio-Canada)

Dany Villaneuva has been acquitted of a 2008 armed robbery charge in a ruling his lawyer says may bolster his case to avoid deportation to his native Honduras.

Villanueva is the older brother of Fredy Villanueva, the Montreal North teenager shot and killed by police three years ago.

The armed robbery charge came in the weeks prior to Villanueva's brother's death.

Dany Villanueva was arrested along with four other men in June 2008 in connection with a jewellery heist under investigation.

When their case went to court earlier this October, defence lawyers argued police acted illegally when they arrested the men and requested the evidence be deemed inadmissible.

On Friday, Quebec Judge Louise Bourdeau granted the request and acquitted Villanueva along with the four other men, ruling the accuseds' rights weren't respected.

Defence lawyers said the men were driving in a car when police stopped them without a valid reason.

They were then arrested and not allowed a phone call for legal advice.

When police searched the men's car, they found gold jewellery and a fake gun.

The acquittal bodes well for Villanueva, who is appealing his deportation case, his lawyer Stéphane Handfield said.

The same evidence thrown out by Bourdeau was used by the Immigration and Refugee Board  to justify his deportation.

Villanueva was ordered deported in 2010.

His criminal record includes an 11-month prison sentence served in 2006, for another armed robbery charge.