Appeal court overturns 2nd-degree murder conviction of Frederick Cormier Jr.

Appeal court overturns 2nd-degree murder conviction of Frederick Cormier Jr.

The New Brunswick Court of Appeal has ordered a new murder trial for Frederick Cormier Jr. in the 2014 stabbing death of Spencer Eldridge in Saint John.

Cormier was sentenced in May 2015 to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder.

But the Court of Appeal set aside his conviction on Thursday and ordered a new trial. The court's reasons were not immediately available.

​During the first trial, the jury heard Cormier, then 29, and Eldridge, 23, knew each other through Saint John's drug culture, and their ties were severed over a relationship with a woman.

Eldridge died from stab wounds he suffered in a fight outside a home on Lancaster Avenue on the city's west side on May 13, 2014.

Cormier claimed self-defence, but the jury found him guilty after about six hours of deliberations.

The defence did not call any witnesses during the week-long trial. The Crown called more than 20 witnesses.