No new trial for Travis Vader, appeal court rules
'No benefit in a retrial' for man convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann
Convicted killer Travis Vader's bid for a new trial has been rejected by the Court of Appeal of Alberta.
"Based on the facts as he found them, the trial judge was ultimately correct in convicting the appellant of manslaughter," the appeal court said in a judgment released Friday.
"We see no prejudice having befallen the appellant as a consequence of the trial judge's analysis, and no benefit in a retrial to test again whether the appellant should have been convicted of manslaughter, in the robbery killings of the McCanns."
Vader's lawyer, Brian Beresh, said he plans to seek leave to appeal Friday's judgment to the Supreme Court of Canada.
"This is not the end of the road," Beresh told reporters Friday.
"There will be leave sought from the Supreme Court of Canada. We think the issues were wrongly decided by the Court of Appeal. We think that the issues that we raised are of national importance and should be heard and determined by the highest court in this land."
In January 2017, Vader was sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter in the deaths of St. Albert couple Lyle and Marie McCann.
Watch the original decision
Last November, lawyers for Vader appeared before the appeal court to argue he should get a new trial on grounds that a number of errors were made during his original trial.
They argued that the trial took too long. They said his convictions should be stayed.
Vader, now 47, was originally convicted of two counts of second-degree murder.
But after it was discovered that Court of Queen's Bench Justice Denny Thomas had relied on a section of the Criminal Code that had been ruled unconstitutional, Thomas downgraded the convictions to manslaughter.
The McCanns, who were in their late 70s, vanished in 2010 after leaving their home to go camping in British Columbia. Their bodies have not been found.
Their son, Bret McCann, said Friday it's still important for the family that their remains be located. It's also important for Vader to reveal that information, he said.
"He's got to say where are the bodies of my parents," McCann said. "Acknowledging his guilt is critical, I think, to his rehabilitation. So I'm hopeful, not optimistic, that this decision today will encourage him to start acknowledging his guilt.
"It's still very important to our family that he says what happened to my parents."