Crown withdraws manslaughter charge against co-accused in Tanya Andy homicide

·2 min read

THUNDER BAY — A Thunder Bay man who had previously been charged with manslaughter in relation to the death of Tanya Andy has been cleared of charges.

Crown counsel Robert Kozak requested to withdraw the manslaughter charge and a breach of probation offence in connection to the 2019 homicide, at a court proceeding on Tuesday, Dec. 22 in Thunder Bay.

Menson’s lawyer, George Joseph, appeared on his behalf for the hearing. Ashley Mary Potson and Menson were initially charged with second-degree murder after Andy’s body was found severely beaten by a passerby on a bike path in March 2019 in Thunder Bay’s County Fair area.

After a preliminary inquiry in July, the Crown filed a new indictment against Potson and Menson jointly charging them with one count of manslaughter. Court heard Menson’s co-accused, Potson, pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in early October. Menson has been out of custody under court-ordered conditions not to communicate with Potson or members of Andy’s family members since then.

“As it relates to Mr. Menson, the Crown wishes to withdraw the two charges before this court. We have an accused that has taken criminal responsibility, that is Ms. Potson,” Kozak said on Tuesday.

An agreed statement of facts read by the Crown in October said Andy, Menson and Potson were drinking and consuming drugs on the night of March 18, 2019.

Potson told police they walked to the pathway behind the Landmark Inn where they continued to drink and consume drugs. At one point, Andy began accusing Potson of stealing which started a heated argument. Court heard Andy grabbed Potson by the hair in a violent manner to which Potson responded to by striking her several times with a closed fist until she fell to the ground.

An autopsy report determined Andy died from blunt force trauma to her head and neck area, court heard.

A Gladue report and pre-sentence report has been ordered for Potson. She remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court again on March 26, 2021 for sentencing.

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source