R. v. R.H. Court of Queen’s Bench (Calgary)
R.H. was charged with 3 counts of first-degree murder in relation to the infamous gang homicide at the Bolsa Restaurant on New Year’s Day. Ms. Urquhart along with Tonii Roulston and Greg Dunn acted as counsel during the 2-month trial. Despite the videotaped “confession” known as a “Mr. Big operation” the jurors took 3 days to render a verdict. After the verdict was rendered, but before the sentence was passed, disclosure was provided to Defence counsel indicating that the key crown witness had confessed to the murder while in the custody of the RCMP in Saskatchewan. Ms. Urquhart argued that the failure to disclose this evidence should result in either a mistrial or that the court should direct a stay of proceedings as a result of the seriousness of the non disclosure and the impact that the non disclosure had on R.H.’s right to have a fair trial. The Honourable Justice Poelman found that he did not have the jurisdiction to grant the remedies that were sought by defence.
Result: The Alberta Court of Appeal quashed the findings of guilt and ordered a new trial as a result of the non-disclosure of the statement.