Case #1: RCMP Sgt. Gary Tidsbury involvement in attack on suspect in Mindy Tran’s murder

December 5, 2016

IMBALANCE IN THE COURT ROOM (PART 3)

The following is the first case in a series where we examine several of Richard Peck’s cases where he acted on behalf of the government as a special prosecutor. The analysis will demonstrate at the very least a perception that Peck may have a pro-accused viewpoint that may lead to a propensity to withdraw charges in cases involving police or government officials. Peck’s pro-accused bias created a perception that he was not independent when he acted as special prosecutor in case against former Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant.

 (R. v. Murrin, 1999 CanLII 6025 (BC SC)

 

On August 17, 1994 eight year old Mindy Tran disappeared near her home in Rutland, BC. Her body was discovered on October 11, 1994. The prime suspect in her murder was a neighbour, Shannon Murrin. He would be arrested, tried and acquitted of her murder.

 

 

An RCMP review of the police investigation found that it “was plagued from its first day by police mistakes and personnel problems that ultimately doomed their case against Shannon Murrin” (“Tran murder case doomed from first day, review says”, Globe and Mail, July 18, 2001)

 

 

The report noted that the lead investigator, RCMP Sergeant Gary Tidsbury, should have been replaced. “The downfall of this case was the integrity of the investigation.”  “There were a few whose bad judgment, loss of objectivity and a failure to live up to one’s duty as a member of the RCMP contributed to the downfall of this file.”

 

 

Murrin’s defence attorney’s argued that Tidsbury investigated with tunnel vision and decided very early that Murrin was guilty.

 

 

The review team said that the integrity of the investigation came in to question as a result of a beating of Murrin by three men, “described by RCMP spokesman Cpl. Grant Learned as controlled by the police.” (“Review critical of RCMP”, Kelowna Capital News, July 18th, 2001). The men claimed they were put up to the beating by investigators, including Gary Tidsbury.

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Police video of eyewitness in death of Darcy Allan Sheppard

April 23, 2015

NOW Magazine has published new police video of Witness 9.12 in Michael Bryant’s killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard. The video is a police interview that took place a few hours after Bryant killed Sheppard.

Filmmaker Wayne Scott wrote an exclusive article for NOW regarding the release of this and other evidence in his upcoming documentary on the case.

From NOW:

“Much of what you will see and hear in Witness 9.12, the nine-minute video accompanying this story, is being viewed publicly for the first time.

Almost all of the material is from Toronto Police Service files relating to the 2009 investigation that led to criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death charges against former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant in the motor vehicle-related death of cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard.

Virtually all of this information was buried from public view for five years after all charges against Bryant were withdrawn by Richard Peck, the specially-appointed, independent prosecutor from B.C. assigned to oversee the case.”

Darcy Allan Sheppard – Witness 9.12 from NOW Magazine on Vimeo.


28 Questions!

February 14, 2015

Follow Allan Sheppard’s blog on his son’s violent death at the hands of former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant:

“In the meantime, know that I hope to talk here about my late son Darcy Allan Sheppard and the circumstances and events that preceded and followed his violent death in Toronto on 31 August 2009.”

Mr. Sheppard will also comment on his efforts to understand the special prosecutor’s decision to drop the charges.

“I will also comment extensively on my largely unsuccessful efforts to find out why and how Mr. Peck and Mark Sandler, the Toronto lawyer who oversaw the investigation, chose to exonerate.”

28 Questions


Michael Bryant’s road rage deception

April 30, 2014

After Michael Bryant’s road rage attack and killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard he has embarked on a campaign to deceive the public by reframing, misleading and outright lying about evidence.

Michael Bryant claimed witnesses did not link his killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard with road rage but more than one witness used the term “road rage” to describe Bryant’s behaviour.

 


Darcy Allan Sheppard – A life’s last moments

August 31, 2010

Mess Media, December 7, 2009

Darcy Allan Sheppard

Darcy Allan Sheppard

On August 31, 2009, former attorney general for Ontario, Michael Bryant, killed cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard in one of the most violent and horrific cases of road rage in Toronto’s history.

Neither Michael Bryant nor his wife, entertainment lawyer Susan Abramovitch, gave statements to police regarding the circumstances that led to Darcy Allan Sheppard’s death. They will have many months to tailor their testimonies to fit the known evidence and weave it seamlessly into a vigorous defense mounted by one of the most elite criminal lawyers in the country.

Bryant’s victim, Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was known as Al to his friends, will not have a voice at the trial. He will not have an opportunity to challenge Michael Bryant’s carefully scripted and rehearsed testimony. He will not have a chance to correct Bryant’s devoted wife and an experienced lawyer when she unconditionally supports her husband of twelve years on the witness stand.

Al’s voice needs to be heard. It’s important that people have an opportunity to understand his life’s last moments. Al could have been any one of us. He just happened to be the cyclist who crossed paths with a driver on the verge of a road rage meltdown.

I have attempted to rebuild those last moments of Al’s life from his point of view. All of the events are based on the factual evidence contained in security camera video, witness statements and news reports. Al’s point of view is also primarily based on the factual evidence as well as my own experiences as a bike messenger and cyclist.

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Ride of Silence and Vigil for Darcy Allan Sheppard

August 26, 2010

Mess Media, August 26, 2010

Toronto cyclists will be holding a ride of silence for slain cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard at 1pm on Sunday August 29, 2010. The ride starts at Bloor and Avenue Rd.

The ride will be followed by a candlelight vigil later that evening around 7:30pm at Bay and Bloor.

The ride and vigil will commemorate the first anniversary of Sheppard’s death on August 31, 2009.

Sheppard’s courier friends Uncle Dropsi and Sunny D have release a song and video to remember him.

The 33-year old Sheppard was killed after an attack by former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant.

Witnesses and video evidence showed that Bryant deliberately rammed his car into Sheppard knocking him to the ground. Witnesses also described Bryant as intentionally speeding the wrong way down Bloor Street, mounting the curb and crashing Sheppard into a fire hydrant and mailbox before fleeing.

Despite video evidence and witness statements, special prosecutor Richard Peck dropped all charges against his fellow British Columbia bred lawyer. Critics of his decision pointed to Peck’s propensity to drop charges in high profile cases involving government and police officials.


Apparently (Al Sheppard) – Video and Song!

July 27, 2010

Update: The video is now out!

Uncle Dropsi and Sunny D have teamed up on a new track about Darcy Allan Sheppard.

In their own words:

This track is about our friend Al, who was run down and killed in a road rage incident on August 31, 2009. He was killed by the former Attorney General of our province (like a state) and the bastard had the charges dropped almost a year later. Many from Toronto’s – and the world’s – cycling community were absolutely incensed that there were no consequences to taking my friend’s life. Anyone who knows, knows. This is our take on it.

The song can be heard and downloaded for free at sunnyd.bandcamp.com

Uncle Dropsi on myspace

Sunny D on myspace


Bryant’s charges dropped but PR continues

June 21, 2010

There is a story in the Toronto Media Co-op about Navigator’s campaign on behalf of Michael Bryant

Special Prosecutor and PR Firm Navigator Involved in Other High-profile Scandals

Toronto Media Co-op, June 20, 2010

by GEORDIE GWALGEN DENT,

Toronto – Outcries of public rage met the announcement that Michael Bryant would not be charged in the death of Darcy Allen Sheppard, a Metis bike courier from Toronto.

Richard Peck, the special prosecutor assigned to the Bryant/Sheppard case, says that the public interest could not have been taken into account in his decision not to prosecute the former Provincial Minister.

“It doesn’t work that way,” said Peck in response to claims that he should have proceeded with charges in the public interest of accountability. “The responsibility on Crown Council is to review the case and see if it meets the threshold for prosecution. The public interest cannot trump the fact that case does not meet the threshold for prosecution…it’s in the Crown Council policy manual. If you don’t have a provable case, you can’t proceed.”

Peck has remained a popular appointment with Provincial governments. He has now been appointed to asses whether charges should be laid against the officers who killed Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant killed after police tasered him five times 30 seconds after confronting him.

A previous statement from the BC criminal justice branch released by Stan Lowe, stated that they unanimously believed that criminal charges against the 4 officers were not necessary. Lowe was appointed as the BC Police Complaints Commissioner two weeks later.

Bryant’s car can be seen on public surveillance video (see below) striking Sheppard and then driving off with Sheppard attached to his car, yet the defendant claims that Sheppard attempted to attack him before he drove off in his car, killing Sheppard.

Read the rest of this story at the Toronto Media Co-op


This is justice?

June 3, 2010

By Bob Mionske

Bicycling Magazine’s Road Rights, June 3, 2010

original piece is here

Lawyer Bob Mionske at Bicycling Magazine published this well written piece about the case today.

When a cyclist is killed by a driver, justice is nearly always stacked toward the driver. And in this case in Toronto, the scales were tilted even more than usual.

By Bob Mionske

On August 31, 2009, the worlds of two strangers collided in the posh Bloor Street shopping district of Toronto. In the aftermath, one of those strangers, a bicycle messenger, lay dead, while the other stranger, the former Attorney General of Ontario and a rising political star, stood accused of causing the cyclist’s death.

About a year later, on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, Richard Peck, the special prosecutor appointed to try the case, dropped all charges against Michael Bryant, the former Attorney General accused of causing the death of bicycle messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard.

I can’t say I didn’t see this coming.

From the beginning, this case involved more than just an encounter between a cyclist and a motorist gone awry. As I noted in When Worlds Collide , issues of race, class, and power were a subtext to this case from the moment that Bryant shut off his car’s ignition in the driveway of a luxury hotel, after fleeing the scene where Darcy Sheppard lay dying in the street.

With these undercurrents, it was apparent that no less than the rule of law was at stake in this case. As explained in an article by Rick Bernardi that appeared in Dandyhorse :

The rule of law means that a nation is governed by laws, rather than by the caprices of the powerful few. It means, among other things, that nobody, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, is above the law. It means that even the powerless can find justice under the law, and that even the powerful can be brought to justice. It’s an idea that is ingrained in western society.

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The Peck Brief – Advocate for the Defence Part 1

May 27, 2010

Mess Media, May 27, 2010

Darcy Allan Sheppard and Michael Bryant

On May 25, 2010, special prosecutor Richard Peck announced that all charges against former Attorney General Michael Bryant would be dropped ruling that “there is no reasonable prospect for conviction in relation to either of the charges before the Court.”

Bryant had been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death in relation to the death of cyclist Darcy Allan (AL) Sheppard after a traffic altercation on August 31, 2009.

Most cases end with the ruling of a judge or jury but this case ended with the ruling of a single criminal defence lawyer acting as an independent prosecutor.

Peck released an eleven page brief analyzing some of the evidence and justifying his decision to drop the charges without a preliminary hearing of the evidence. His brief answered few questions but also raised many more.

We have separated Peck’s brief into the two parts. Part one focuses on the initial incident where Bryant’s vehicle rammed into Sheppard. Part two will begin where Sheppard grabbed on to the vehicle.

Summary

An analysis of Richard Peck’s brief reveals that he relied heavily on the unchallenged statements of Michael Bryant to come his decision to drop the charges. Peck cherry picked evidence to support Bryant’s claims and either suppressed or ignored alternative evidence that challenged Bryant’s version of the events.

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