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Supreme Court rejects Travis Vader's appeal in seniors slayings

Last Updated Dec 5, 2019 at 9:02 am PDT

Travis Vader arrives at court in Edmonton on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Vader is charged with first-degree murder in the 2010 deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann. The Supreme Court of Canada is to decide today whether it will hear an appeal from an Alberta man convicted of killing two seniors who disappeared on a camping trip. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear the appeal of a man convicted of killing two Edmonton area seniors.

Travis Vader was sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann.

The couple, in their 70s, vanished after leaving their home in St. Albert, a bedroom community north of Edmonton, in July 2010.

Their burned-out motorhome and a vehicle they had been towing were discovered days later west of the city, but their bodies have never been found.

Vader filed an appeal asking to wipe the guilty verdicts and declare a mistrial, arguing the judge erroneously relied on s. 230 of the Criminal Code, which had previously been declared unconstitutional.

A trial judge determined Vader was a desperate drug addict who came across the McCanns and killed them during a robbery.

Justice Denny Thomas convicted Vader in 2016 of second-degree murder but later substituted the verdict with manslaughter, because he had mistakenly used an outdated section of the Criminal Code.

Lawyers for Vader argued the RCMP was negligent in handling disclosure at trial, which added two years of delay. The Crown told court there were exceptional circumstances that justified the time it took to complete the trial.

The Appeal Court unanimously dismissed the appeal in May.

 

The Canadian Press