Convicted murderer Devin Morningstar loses appeal in Baylee Wylie's death
Devin Morningstar is serving a life sentence for the murder of Baylee Wylie 2 years ago
Devin Morningstar, one of three young people charged after the brutal killing of 18-year-old Baylee Wylie in Moncton, has lost a bid to have his first-degree murder conviction overturned.
Three New Brunswick Court of Appeal judges dismissed Morningstar's appeal on Monday in Fredericton.
Morningstar is serving a life sentence for murdering Wylie, whose body was found in a burned-out tri-plex in December 2015.
Morningstar's two-week trial last year painted a graphic picture of Wylie's violent death.
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After 21 hours of deliberation in November 2016, a jury found Morningstar, 19, guilty of first-degree murder and committing arson with disregard for human life.
He is serving his sentence at the Atlantic Institution in Renous, with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Wylie's mother and aunt, who both attended the appeal, were relieved by the court's decision.
"We were pretty scared, not necessarily for the concept that he would get a new trial but for the fear that we would have to sit through it again," said Angela Wylie, Baylee's aunt. "At the end of the day, the evidence speaks for itself."
The family described Wylie as a happy kid, whose presence is missed everyday.
"We will be representing Baylee in every opportunity that we can, so that people understand he's a person and not just a name," his aunt said.
Morningstar alleged errors by judge
Morningstar was not present for the appeal.
His notice of appeal said the trial judge, Justice John Walsh, made errors in his instructions to the jury about manslaughter and first-degree murder and in failing to allow a defence of duress.
Two other people have also been charged in Wylie's death.
Tyler Noel pleaded guilty in May to second-degree murder and arson and will be sentenced in July. Marissa Shephard is charged with first-degree murder and arson. Her trial is scheduled to start Feb. 12.
With files from Tori Weldon