Saskatchewan

3 men found guilty of murdering Reno Lee file appeals of convictions, sentences

The three men who were convicted of the April 2015 murder of Reno Lee have appealed their sentences and convictions.

Bronson Gordon, Daniel Theodore, Andrew Bellegarde convicted of 1st-degree murder in March

Bronson Gordon, Daniel Theodore and Andrew Bellegarde are appealing their convictions and sentences after they were found guilty of murdering Reno Lee in April 2015. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

The three men who were convicted of the April 2015 murder of Reno Lee have appealed their sentences and convictions on the grounds that the judge erred in making the jury charge and ineffective legal counsel.

Andrew Bellegarde, Bronson Gordon and Daniel Theodore were all found guilty of first-degree murder in March. Bellegarde and Theodore were also convicted of committing an indignity to a body but Gordon was acquitted on that charge.

They were all sentenced to life in prison without the eligibility of parole for 25 years. The appeals were filed days after they were sentenced.

Lee was shot twice in the head at a North Central home around April 16, 2015. Bellegarde and Theodore dismembered Lee's body and his remains were buried in a shallow grave on the Star Blanket First Nation. 

Bellegarde said his lawyer was "ineffective" and that he was denied the right to a fair trial.

He also claimed that the judge, Justice Catherine Dawson, did not properly explain the details and technicalities of what goes into a murder charge and the grounds for conviction. 

Gordon appealed on the grounds that Dawson "erred when she misdirected or otherwise failed to direct the jury about the inadmissibility" of testimony which implicated Gordon as the one calling the shots. Gordon's appeal claims there was no evidence to support that theory.

Gordon also asserted in his appeal that no jury that received proper instructions could have found him guilty of murder but not guilty of committing an indignity to Lee's body.

Reno Lee, Regina's third homicide victim of 2015, was shot twice in the head around April 16, 2015. His dismembered remains were later found buried in a shallow grave on the Star Blanket First Nation. (Regina Court of Queen's Bench)

Theodore's appeal says he felt the jury was not able to understand the judge's charge due to a hasty reading of the instructions.

He also wrote in his appeal that the judge did not adequately explain the elements of constructive murder in the charge.

Dawson's instructions, which spanned hundreds of pages, were read out to the jury over a period of multiple days. 

All three men wish to be present at the hearings and would like to be tried by judge and jury, if a new trial is ordered. 

Lee was Regina's third homicide victim of 2015. 

now