Saskatchewan

Couple convicted of conspiring to kill one another's spouses appeals verdict

Curtis Vey and Angela Nicholson are appealing convictions of conspiracy to commit murder. The lovers had been recorded plotting a plan to murder each other's spouses.

Defence contends judge made errors in charge to jury

Curtis Vey and Angela Nicholson were convicted last year of conspiracy to commit murder, and were each sentenced to three years. Both appeared in court today, with their lawyers appealing the sentence. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

A Saskatchewan pair found guilty of conspiring to murder their spouses appeared in court Friday, appealing the jury's verdict.

Curtis Vey, who is from Wakaw, and Angela Nicholson, of Melfort, were each sentenced to three years in prison last September, after a jury found both guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. The lovers had been recorded plotting to murder each other's spouses.

Both Vey and Nicholson were in the courtroom, but did not sit together during the four hour session. Their lawyers presented their case to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal seeking to have the verdict overturned, and a new trial ordered.

Defence argues jurors were confused

Aaron Fox, Vey's lawyer, contended Chief Justice Martel Popescul made several mistakes in the trial.

"Obviously conspiracy is a complicated area of the law, and we recognize that, but it is important because the offence is so serious that the judge get the law correct in his instructions to the jury," he said.

He felt this had not been the case, saying the jury expressed confusion with the questions they asked, and that one juror approached a court official, expressing concerns about the process and about the verdict itself.

Aaron Fox, defence lawyer for Curtis Vey, contends the chief justice made errors in his charge to the jury during the trial for Vey and fellow accused, Angela Nicholson, on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. (CBC News)

"We don't know what those concerns where, but we do know they were significant enough that the juror saw fit to speak to an official about it," he said.

Crown contends decision should stand  

Crown prosecutor Beverly Klatt agreed that conspiracy was a complicated area of the law, but she said felt this case was "fairly simple," with only two people involved, and with the Crown focusing on no other offences.

Crown prosecutor Beverly Klatt said while the charge of conspiracy to commit murder is more complicated, the judge's instructions to the jury were clear. (CBC News)

"The chief judge, I think, did a very good job of distilling the evidence for the jury and making the law of conspiracy very easy for them to understand, because it isn't always easy to understand."

Klatt said the Crown maintains the judge made no errors at all in his charge to the jury.

The appeal court has adjourned the case, which is scheduled to resume in Regina in three weeks.