North

Mountie killer files appeal

Emrah Bulatci, 25, is appealing his conviction in the first-degree murder of RCMP Const. Christopher Worden.
Originally from Ottawa, Const. Christopher Worden, 30, was based in Hay River, N.W.T., for two years before his death on Oct. 6, 2007. ((RCMP/Canadian Press))
The man found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a Hay River, N.W.T., RCMP officer has launched an appeal.

Jurors last month in Yellowknife convicted Emrah Bulatci, 25, in the killing of Const. Christopher Worden in October 2007.

After a four-week trial, Bulatci received the mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.

Worden, originally from Ottawa, joined the RCMP in 2002 and spent most of his career in the Northwest Territories. He had been stationed since 2005 in Hay River, a town of about 3,650 located 400 kilometres south of the N.W.T. capital near the Alberta border.

Jurors heard that Bulatci was in Hay River to sell cocaine when Worden stopped him outside a house early in the morning of Oct. 6, 2007, and tried to arrest him.

Fearing that Worden would find his illegal handgun, Bulatci fled on foot, and Worden chased him to an area behind a local apartment building.

Bulatci testified at his trial that he shot at Worden's lower body twice in an unsuccessful attempt to slow down the officer.

But Bulatci said the final shots, which ultimately killed the officer, were fired by accident during a struggle with Worden and that the officer's death was unintentional.

The Crown maintained that Bulatci's version of events — that his handgun had fired accidentally twice while it was pointed at Worden — was implausible.

Bulatci's lawyers have provided several grounds for the appeal.

During the trial, the jury heard secretly recorded conversations Bulatci had with his girlfriend and relatives while they visited him at the North Slave Correctional Centre. Those tapes were improperly obtained and should not have been admitted as evidence, the appeal documents argue.

Bulatci's lawyer also alleges the judge failed to properly instruct the jury in several different aspects.

No date has been set for hearing the appeal.

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