A new trial has been ordered for two men convicted in May of 1996, in the longest-running criminal case in Eastern Ontario history. Two other men were convicted in the same case in May of 2000.

In 1996, Richard Trudel and James Sauvé were found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1990 deaths of a drug dealer and his pregnant common-law wife.

Their lawyers successfully argued the judge made three serious errors in the handling of the case.

Among them, the appeal court says, the trial judge didn't give a strong enough warning to the jury about relying on the testimony of several Crown witnesses—all of whom had motives to lie at the trial.

The two other men convicted in the case, Robert Stewart and Richard Mallory, were given life sentences in May of 2000.

That marked the end of one of Canada's longest criminal trials.

The murders were committed in a small, rural Cumberland home. Michel Giroux, a small-time drug dealer, was shot at close range in the chest because of a small drug debt. Then his girlfriend, Manon Bourdeau—who was seven months pregnant— begged for her life. She was held down and shot in the back of the head with a sawed-off shotgun.