Video shows N.S. woman arranging hit on husband
Supreme Court ordered a stay of proceedings in Nicole Doucet Ryan's case
CBC News has obtained a video that shows a Nova Scotia school teacher trying to hire a hit man, who was actually an undercover RCMP officer, to kill her estranged husband.
Nicole Doucet Ryan, who now goes by Nicole Doucet, had been charged with counselling to commit murder, but was acquitted. On Jan. 18, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned that acquittal, but ordered the Crown to drop the case.
In the video filmed on March 27, 2008, Doucet told an undercover officer posing as a hit man why she wanted her husband killed. At the time the video was recorded, Doucet was separated from her husband, Mike Ryan.
The video was presented as evidence during one of Doucet's court cases. CBC News applied to the courts to obtain the video.
"I need the job done. I need it done this weekend. Is it possible?" Doucet asks.
During her two meetings with the undercover officer, Doucet calmly haggles over the price of the hit and repeatedly insists she wants it done that weekend because she has "waited long enough."
She said she had been planning her husband's death for months.
After giving the fake hit man $2,000 in cash as a retainer, the unidentified undercover officer asks her why she wants Ryan dead.
The officer asks if Ryan cheated on her and if that's the reason for the hit.
Doucet responded: "Oh yes, he's always done that but that is no big deal." She said the final straw was "everything he took and destroyed, [his] attitude. How much can you take?"
The officer asked Doucet if Ryan ever hit her, and she said he didn't.
During her trial, Doucet said she suffered years of abuse from Ryan.
Ryan denies abuse allegations
Doucet said in court she called the RCMP numerous times to complain about the alleged abuse, only to be told it was a civil matter. She testified that hiring a hit man was the only way to save herself and her daughter.
During the trial, an RCMP officer said the force reviewed every call that officers received from Doucet and her husband, and there was only one time Doucet told police about specific allegations of violence or abuse. In that instance, Ryan was charged and the court placed him on conditions.
In several interviews, Ryan has denied all abuse allegations made by Doucet.
"I'm stuck, whether you are legit or not, whether you're a police officer or not," she is seen telling the undercover officer in the video. "I want him dead."
The morning after the video was filmed, Doucet was arrested and charged with counselling an undercover police officer to kill her husband, who was accused in court documents of threatening to kill her and her daughter.
The case attracted national attention last month when the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a stay of proceedings in the Nova Scotia woman's case, saying it would be unfair to subject her to a new trial.
Since then, several parties in the case have spoken out.
Immediately after the Supreme Court of Canada decision, an emotional Doucet told reporters she was "relieved" but still afraid for her safety and that of her 12-year-old daughter.
The girl has been living with her father — Michael Ryan — in Ontario since he was granted sole custody.
Ryan also spoke out and said the courts branded him a "violent, abusive and controlling husband" who subjected his wife to a "reign of terror" without ever having a chance to deny those allegations in a courtroom.
Although Ryan had been subpoenaed, the Crown said his testimony wasn't needed to refute Doucet's defence of duress because she admitted to committing the offence and trying to hire a hit man.
On Wednesday, Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry referred the case to the federal Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP which will review the RCMP's handling of calls for assistance from Doucet.