A Saskatchewan judge has denied the appeal of an American man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend in her Saskatoon home in 2006.
George Mitchell Allgood was found guilty of first-degree murder after a judge-alone trial in 2013. The trial showed how Allgood confessed to killing Susan Reinhardt, 40, during an undercover police operation known as a “Mr. Big” sting.
There was no other direct evidence linking Allgood to the crime, and the confession was therefore crucial to Allgood’s conviction.
In his appeal, Allgood argued for a new trial after the Supreme Court came out with guidelines on how “Mr. Big” stings must be conducted in order for confessions to be admissible in court. But the appeal court judges ruled that the trial judge, Justice Grant Currie, followed those guidelines when making his decision.
“I find the probative value of Mr. Allgood’s confession to outweigh its prejudicial effect,” Justice Maurice Herauf wrote in his decision.
Allgood also appealed the conviction on the grounds that the trial judge erred in admitting hearsay evidence made by the victim to her friends before she died. But Herauf dismissed that ground of appeal as well.
“The trial judge found the statements to be relevant, necessary and reliable. A trial judge is well-placed to determine the extent to which hearsay dangers of a particular case are of concern and whether they can be sufficiently alleviated,” he wrote.
Reinhardt and her boyfriend, David Ristow, were shot in the bedroom of their City Park home on July 15, 2006. Reinhardt died from her injuries while in the hospital, but Ristow survived.
Allgood is serving a life sentence for murder and was also sentenced to an additional 25 years for attempted murder.
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