APTN National News
The Court of Appeal of Alberta is expected to deliver a ruling Wednesday in the case of a Cree woman serving a life sentence in prison for a murder she says she didn’t commit.
The Court of Appeal issued a notice Tuesday that a judgement in the case of Connie Oakes would be released at 10 a.m. local time.
Oakes was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years in June 2014 after a Medicine Hat, Alta., jury found her guilty of second degree murder in the 2011 slaying of Casey Armstrong, 48.
Oakes, who is from the Nekaneet First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, has consistently claimed she is innocent of the crime.
With no DNA, fingerprints or murder weapon, the Medicine Hat police and the local Crown relied exclusively on the testimony of co-accused Wendy Scott who claimed she was there when Oakes stabbed Armstrong in the neck with a knife.
Scott, who has an IQ of 50, has since recanted her testimony and said in an affidavit she didn’t believe Oakes was at Armstrong’s trailer at the time of the May long-weekend murder.
Armstrong was found in the bathtub of his trailer by a friend. He was killed by a puncture wound through the neck that nearly decapitated him.
Medicine Hat police have never been able to identify the source of a size 11 men’s bloody boot print found on the bathroom floor.
The Court of Appeal last October ordered a new trial for Scott who had previously pleaded guilty to second degree murder in Armstrong’s killing. After a concession from the Crown, the Court of Appeal quashed Scott’s guilty plea saying there was not enough evidence to support a conviction of second degree murder.
Scott’s new trial is scheduled to begin next year.