Dartmouth man convicted of girlfriend's murder wins new trial

A 54-year-old Dartmouth man convicted of second-degree murder of his girlfriend has won a new trial.

Appeal court overturns Clarence Michael MacLeod's conviction in death of Roxanne Page

Clarence Michael MacLeod was charged in April 2010, months after he was found standing over his girlfriend's body. (CBC)

A 54-year-old Dartmouth man convicted of killing his girlfriend has won a new trial.

Roxanne Page was found dead in her apartment on Roleika Drive on Oct. 17, 2009. Her body was discovered that evening by her son and an employee of the building.

Her boyfriend, Clarence Michael MacLeod, was seen standing over Page's body with a large butcher knife in his hand.

MacLeod was eventually charged. He was convicted of second-degree murder in a jury trial last year and handed an automatic life sentence. The court ordered him to serve a minimum of 12 years before he could start applying for parole.

MacLeod continued to maintain his innocence throughout the trial process.

In February, MacLeod appealed his murder conviction.

In a decision released Friday by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, MacLeod's conviction was overturned and a new trial was ordered. The appeal court ruled that the trial judge made a mistake by not instructing the jury on a possible verdict of manslaughter.

The appeal court ruling was not unanimous. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Jamie Saunders said the trial judge made no mistake and the original murder conviction should stand.