Crown won't appeal new murder trial for Marissa Shephard

The Crown will not challenge the New Brunswick Court of Appeal's recent decision to order a murder retrial for Marissa Shephard in connection with the death of Moncton teen Baylee Wylie.

"To succeed in getting leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada, it is necessary not only to allege an error of law on the part of the Court of Appeal, but that the alleged error is of national importance," Crown prosecutor Kathryn Gregory said in a statement Monday.

"We have concluded that a sufficiently compelling argument does not exist that the trial fairness issues of concern to the Court of Appeal in this case are of national significance."

A new trial date for Shephard will be set in the Court of Queen's Bench "in the coming weeks," according to the release issued by the Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General.

Shephard, 24, of Moncton, remains in custody, pending her new trial.

"As this case remains before the courts, further comment will not be provided at this time," the statement said.

Shephard was sentenced in June 2018 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after a jury found her guilty of first-degree murder and arson with disregard for human life in the death of Wylie, 18.

Firefighters discovered Wylie's battered and burned body in Shephard's New Brunswick Housing triplex during the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2015.

During Shephard's trial, the court heard of a drug-fuelled night of partying that resulted in Wylie being bound to a chair, beaten and stabbed with multiple objects. He suffered more than 140 sharp-force injuries — most of them while he was still alive, the trial heard.

Last month, the appeal court ruled Shephard's trial fairness was compromised because of errors committed by the judge, prosecution and the defence.

RCMP

"Trial fairness is an issue that has been ruled on repeatedly by the Supreme Court of Canada in many different factual contexts," the statement issued Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General spokesperson Paul Bradley states.

Of the approximately 600 leave to appeal applications the Supreme Court receives each year, only about 80 are granted.

Tyler Noel pleaded guilty in May 2017 to second-degree murder and arson with disregard for human life and is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 16 years.

Devin Morningstar was found guilty in May 2016 of first-degree murder and arson with disregard for human life in Wylie's slaying and is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.