Alleged Getaway Driver to Face Poker Murder Retrial10 months ago
The alleged getaway driver in the killing of a man at a poker tournament in the Canadian city of Brampton has seen his original acquittal quashed and will now face a new trial.
26 year old Toronto man Kmar Kelly was originally found not guilty of being involved in the death of Kearn Nedd, who was shot dead as he tried to protect the organizer of the unlicensed poker event.
The gunman, Marcus Alexis – who ‘began pistol-whipping innocent bystanders in the venue’s hallway before opening fire’ according to CardsChat’s report at the time – was found guilty and received a life sentence, while the man behind the plot to rob the poker game, Brian Funes was given 11 years for his actions.
Kmar Kelly, however, was set free at his original trial in 2015 after the judge ruled him to be not guilty of manslaughter after his defence lawyers claimed that the Crown prosecution had not proven its case.
Now the Brampton Guardian newspaper has reported that the Crown appeal against the original decision by Justice Thomas Bielby has been upheld at the Ontario Court of Appeal, the decision released Wednesday, Nov 29th concluding that ‘the judge erred in two conclusions he drew, including that the Crown was limited to proving Kelly’s guilt by proving he was the getaway driver.’
“The Crown was entitled to rely on any theory of liability available on the evidence, absent a demonstration by the accused of prejudice to his ability to make full answer and defence,” the Appeal Court ruled, adding that "the judge applied the wrong test in directing a verdict of acquittal".
At the original trial, the self-sacrifice of Nedd was noted by the judge, who also stated:
“Not only did he lose his life in doing so, his parents and family and all those who knew him… have also lost a part of themselves. This murder was tragic and senseless, and took the life of a young man who had his whole life ahead of him.”
A new trial has been ordered for Kelly, although a date has not yet been set.
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