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R. v. Ferris, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 756

 

Her Majesty The Queen                                                                   Appellant

 

v.

 

John Michael Ferris    Respondent

 

Indexed as:  R. v. Ferris

 

File No.:  23988.

 

1994:  November 7.

 


Present:  La Forest, L'Heureux‑Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin and Major JJ.

 

on appeal from the court of appeal for alberta

 

                   Criminal law ‑‑ Evidence ‑‑ Prejudicial effect ‑‑ Accused overheard to say he had killed victim ‑‑ Trial judge admitting statement ‑‑ Accused convicted of second degree murder ‑‑ Court of Appeal ordering new trial ‑‑ Meaning of evidence so speculative and probative value so tenuous that it ought to have been excluded ‑‑ Crown's appeal dismissed.

 

                   APPEAL from a judgment of the Alberta Court of Appeal (1994), 149 A.R. 1, 63 W.A.C. 1, 27 C.R. (4th) 141, setting aside the accused's conviction of second degree murder and ordering a new trial.  Appeal dismissed.

 

                   Jack Watson, Q.C., for the appellant.

 

                   Mona T. Duckett, for the respondent.

 

                   The judgment of the Court was delivered orally by

 

                   Sopinka J. -- In our opinion, with respect to the evidence that the respondent was overheard to say "I killed David", if it had any relevance, by reason of the circumstances fully outlined by Conrad J.A., its meaning was so speculative and its probative value so tenuous that the trial judge ought to have excluded it on the ground its prejudicial effect overbore its probative value.

 

                   The appeal is therefore dismissed.

 

                   Judgment accordingly.

 

                   Solicitor for the appellant:  Jack Watson, Edmonton.

 

                   Solicitors for the respondent:  Royal, McCrum, Duckett & Glancy, Edmonton.

 

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