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Ex-judge Delisle appeals murder conviction

06/28/2012 02:53 EDT | Updated 08/28/2012 05:12 EDT
The retired Quebec City judge found guilty of killing his wife earlier this month is asking for a new trial.

Jacques Delisle's lawyer filed the paperwork this morning at the Quebec City courthouse.

On June 14, a jury found Delisle, 77, guilty of murdering in his wife in the couple's condo in 2009.

Nicole Rainville, 71, died from a gunshot wound to the head. Her death was initially deemed a suicide, but Delisle was later charged with first-degree murder.

He pleaded not guilty and maintained that his wife took her own life.

However, the Crown's case, the one ultimately accepted by the jury, pointed to a murder motivated by the radical lifestyle change the couple experienced after Rainville suffered a stroke two years before her death.

The prosecutor said ballistics evidence proved Rainville did not shoot herself as Delisle claimed.

The appeal documents filed by Delisle's lawyer argue the jury's verdict is unreasonable and not based on evidence.

They claim Delisle was tried by a jury of layman who could not take into account the totality of the evidence presented by ballistic experts in the two-and-a-half days they spent deliberating before reaching a verdict.

Delisle's lawyer claims that his client should be granted a new trial and one heard by a judge alone. The defence made that request at the start of the former judge's first trial, but the Crown opposed the request.

Delisle's defence claims the Crown's argument was rife with errors and based on speculation and emotion.

His lawyer is also critical of the judge's instruction to the jury and states he should have further clarified what evidence was admissible and what was not.

He is asking that his client be released pending his appeal.

Delisle is currently serving a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

He was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 1983 and sat on the Court of Appeal for 15 years. He left the bench six months before Rainville’s death.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for July 4 in Montreal.

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