Manitoba

Mark Stobbe's not guilty verdict won't be appealed

Justice officials in Manitoba will not launch an appeal of a jury's verdict of not guilty in the case of Mark Stobbe, who was tried on a charge of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his wife, Beverly Rowbotham.

'No legal error could be established,' Justice officials say

Mark Stobbe talks to media outside the Law Courts in Winnipeg, Mar. 29 after a jury finds him not guilty of second-degree murder in the hatchet death of his wife. (Trevor Hagan/CP)

Justice officials in Manitoba will not launch an appeal of a jury's verdict of not guilty in the case of Mark Stobbe, who was tried on a charge of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his wife, Beverly Rowbotham.

Stobbe, a former high-ranking advisor in the NDP governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, was charged in 2008, some eight years after Rowbotham's body was discovered in the family car.

In a statement released early Saturday morning, the Manitoba Crown prosecutor's officer said a review of the two-month jury trial was done by officials in B.C. and Manitoba and found there was nothing to pursue.

"The legal standard for the Crown to bring an appeal is a legal error on a question of law arising during the trial that reasonably could have had a material impact on the decision made by the jury," the statement said. "The review found that no legal error could be established. Accordingly, an appeal will not be taken of the acquittal of Mr. Stobbe."

The release said no one from the justice department would respond to questions about the case.

The jury's verdict was made March 29, following a two-month trial involving more than 80 witnesses.

Stobbe, 53, remains on a leave from an administration job with a non-government organization that supports the crafts in Saskatchewan.

During his trial, prosecutors alleged that Rowbotham, 42, was struck multiple times with a hatchet in the yard of the couple's rural property in St. Andrews, Man., in October 2000.

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