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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SPECIAL PROSECUTOR RELIED UPON DISCREDITED EXPERT IN MICHAEL BRYANT CASE

September 27, 2016


CALL FOR EXPERT ANALYSIS REPORTS TO BE RELEASED

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When special prosecutor Richard Peck withdrew all charges against former Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant resulting from Bryant’s killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard, he failed to warn the court and the public about the credibility and bias of the prime video expert in the case.

Peck based his decision in large part due to the analysis of former Vancouver police officer Grant Fredericks whose work has been scathingly discredited as flawed, and biased in favour of law enforcement officials.

Grant Fredericks was a Vancouver police officer from 1988 until 2000. He is now an instructor at the FBI National Academy, an advisor to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and a principal instructor for the non-profit Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA).

Fredericks’ work has come under fire on both sides of the border as it has been repeatedly discredited. In the case of the death of Robert Dziekanski at the hands of the RCMP, Richard Peck acted as the special prosecutor. The Dziekanski case resulted in the dismissal of [Fredericks’] expert testimony and raised questions about “his cozy relationship with the Vancouver police.”

In a United States case involving the death of Otto Zehm, also at the hands of the police, the Justice Department argued that Fredericks offered his services to police and came to his conclusions before he finished analyzing the video of the incident.

The Center for Justice in Spokane, Washington reported:

“The gist of the Justice Department’s rebuttal is that Fredericks has a long record of bias in favor of embattled police officers and police departments, and that he regularly shapes his expert testimony accordingly.”

These shocking revelations raise credibility and bias issues surrounding the expert video evidence in the case against Michael Bryant. They create a perception of conflict of interest and special treatment for the former chief administrator of the justice system in the province.

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Ghomeshi v Bryant

April 24, 2016

 

IMG_GHB-1

After the trial and acquittal of Jian Ghomeshi much has been written and spoken regarding his lawyer Marie Henein and her work with another famous client, former Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant. In both cases the media attributed Henein’s success to her ability to find exculpatory evidence supporting her clients. The question that has not been addressed is why did Ghomeshi’s case go to trial but not Bryant’s?  Why did Henein reveal her entire defence to the Crown in Bryant’s case, in order to avoid a trial but not in Ghomeshi’s case?

 

The simple answer would be that Henein felt the evidence, against Jian Ghomeshi (including the exculpatory evidence she had uncovered) was stronger than the evidence against Michael Bryant. The Crown in Ghomeshi’s case went to trial because they believed they had a reasonable prospect of conviction. The Crown in Bryant’s case, represented by special prosecutor Richard Peck and his Ontario agent Mark Sandler determined that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.

 

Both defendants had the same lawyer, so let’s compare the strength of the evidence in each case.

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WHY DID MICHAEL BRYANT WAIT THREE MINUTES TO CALL 911?

October 22, 2015

On August 31, 2009, former Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant was involved in a road rage attack that killed cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard. Bryant was arrested that evening but he did not make a statement to police. He would not make a statement until almost eight months later when he and his lawyers received complete and full disclosure of the Crown’s case. Bryant did however make a 911 call to police. After he successfully knocked Darcy Allan Sheppard off his car with a fire hydrant, Bryant fled to the Hyatt Hotel on Avenue Road just north of Bloor. It became the staging area for his defence.

BryantSaabHyatt

Bryant described his actions in his book, “28 Seconds”

“So I turned right on Avenue Road and drove into the hotel’s circular driveway and found, I thought, sanctuary. I stopped the car and pulled up the emergency brake-for what would be the final time. I couldn’t find my cell phone. Susan offered hers.”

In a video interview with the Toronto Star, he said: “And so I pulled over and called 911. It was… police need to come and protect us.”

In his CBC interview with Amanda Lang he said: “So I drove in and called 911 and ah said, help, bring police..”

His lawyer, Marie Henein wrote in her article, “Split Seconds Matter,” “He drove to safety just around the corner to a hotel and called 911.”

What’s missing from all of these descriptions is that when Michael Bryant drove to the Hyatt Hotel, in what he described as a state of fear, he did not call 911 right away. He waited three minutes!

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MICHAEL BRYANT PROSECUTORS RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS AWARD FROM DEFENCE ATTORNEYS

October 17, 2015

Mark Sandler will be this year’s recipient of the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal for outstanding contributions to criminal justice. Richard Peck was last year’s recipient. The Award will be presented to Sandler at the Ontario Criminal Lawyers’ Association Convention on Halloween, October 31, 2015 between 1pm-3pm at the Toronto Marriot Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel. Sandler and Peck are most famous as the defence attorneys chosen to act as prosecutors in the Michael Bryant road rage case that involved his killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard.

The Ontario Criminal Lawyers Association (CLA) presents the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal annually. Past recipients include famed defence attorneys such as John Robinette, Eddie Greenspan (Marie Henein’s mentor) and James Lockyer who founded the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.

In his book “28 Seconds”, Michael Bryant wrote about the closeness of the Toronto criminal defence bar. He said:

“But I learned something about the criminal defence bar in Toronto. They stick together and work together to help each other, even if they’re not retained on the case. This doesn’t apply to every lawyer, but amongst those who reciprocate, there is a small group of colleagues who advance the interests of the accused, at large.”

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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.


“Michael Bryant Killed my Son”

April 23, 2015

Allan Sheppard appeared on Jesse Brown’s CANADALAND to talk about newly revealed evidence to the public in the case against Michael Bryant.

Listen to the podcast on CANADALAND and read the transcript of the new audio

“CANADALAND has obtained two eyewitness accounts of the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard. Neither has been publicly released before.  They tell a very different tale of the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard than what the media has previously reported. They are followed by an interview with Sheppard’s father, Allan Sheppard”

Episode Rundown

[00:00:20] “On August 31st, 2009 Darcy Allan Sheppard was killed on Bloor Street West. Michael Bryant the former attorney general of Ontario was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death. In the immediate aftermath much was made of Bryant’s reputation for pugnacious, aggressive behaviour the term road rage came up many times. The press paid close attention to the fact that Bryant almost instantly hired Navigator as his crisis PR team and Marie Henein as his criminal defense lawyer. But then as the days progressed the media’s focus shifted, it shifted away from Bryant’s reputation and onto Darcy Allan Sheppard’s. Sheppard we were told was a squeegee punk, bike messenger, a drunk also, aggressive and confrontational. Less than a year later all charges against Michael Bryant was dropped. The crown prosecutor proclaimed that Sheppard had been the aggressor and produced a photo of Darcy Allan Sheppard mohawked and half naked, screaming into the driver’s side window of a different car. Since then Michael Bryant has been telling his side of the story again and again.” Jesse

Wayne Scott has obtained and provided to CANADALAND audio tape of the two closest eyewitnesses to the initial altercation between Bryant and Sheppard.