- Defence lawyer: 'Justice was done here today'
- Chrissy Predham Newman's body found on Jan. 21, 2007
- RNC chief says investigation is over, and was done properly
A St. John's judge has entered an acquittal on a second-degree murder charge against Ray Newman, a St. John's man who had been accused of killing his estranged wife, Chrissy Predham Newman.
Justice James Adams entered the verdict Wednesday morning during a proceeding at Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, as almost all of the evidence in the case had been excluded.
The courtroom erupted with emotion as the decision was read. "Son of a bitch," a woman, the aunt of Chrissy Predham Newman, yelled at Newman. "May you rot."
Newman, 35, had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Chrissy Predham Newman, 28.
Her body was found in her basement apartment in the Airport Heights neighbourhood of St. John's on Jan. 21, 2007. Her throat had been slashed.
Predham Newman had been living in the apartment with the couple's daughter.
Investigation over, RNC chief says
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said that there are no other persons of interest in the case.
Chief Bob Johnston said the investigation is over, and that he agreed with the Crown that evidence in the case should not have been excluded. He expressed confidence in how police investigators handled the case.
One of Newman's lawyers, though, welcomed the decision.
"It is certainly a day of relief for Mr. Newman and his family," defence lawyer Mike King told reporters outside court.
"But it is an emotional time … The past six years have been very stressful, been very sad, very exhausting for Mr. Newman. We’re certainly relieved that it has come to an end. We’ve believed in our case, and in Mr. Newman, and in his innocence, from day one."
King said he thought the Crown’s case was "very weak."
The defence was successful in "each and every one of those challenges" against the prosecution’s case.
"Justice was done here today," King said.
Crown planning to appeal
Crown lawyer Elaine Reid said six pre-trial decisions by the judge resulted in "almost all" of the evidence being tossed.
"As a result of the exclusion of this evidence, we are simply unable to proceed any further," Reid said.
She said there was no longer a "reasonable likelihood" of conviction.
Prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre added that the Crown believed in the case it has prepared against Newman.
"This is not a situation where we withdrew the charge," he said.
"This is a situation where we proceeded fully through the courts. The courts have excluded the evidence we intended to call. Now essentially the evidence is gone, and we are taking steps to appeal those rulings."
Meanwhile, Predham Newman's aunt was so distraught by the proceedings that she collapsed in a hallway at court. An ambulance was called to take her to hospital.