WINNIPEG – A Manitoba man imprisoned for 23 years for first-degree murder before spending the last nine years on probation is on the verge of having his name cleared.Lawyers for the Crown and defence told the Manitoba Court of Appeal on Monday that they agree Frank Ostrowski’s 1987 conviction in the shooting death of a drug dealer was a miscarriage of justice and cannot stand.“His trial was unfair,” Crown attorney Randy Schwartz told the three judges hearing the case.“The parties agree that this case should be terminated permanently.”The Crown is asking for a judicial stay of proceedings, which would put an end to the case. The defence wants the court to go a step further and formally acquit Ostrowski, now in his late 60s.Ostrowski was found guilty of ordering the shooting of a fellow drug dealer and was convicted largely on the testimony of a key witness — Matthew Lovelace — who had separate charges of cocaine possession stayed in exchange.Ostrowski’s lawyers and the jury were never told about the deal and Lovelace told the trial he did not receive any favours in exchange for his testimony.Ostrowski’s lawyer told the Appeal Court that the Crown attorney in the original trial, George Dangerfield, crossed a line by not correcting Lovelace when he testified he did not receive a deal.“He was trying not to cross it. But the reality is he did … by not interrupting and saying, ‘Hang on a sec. Lovelace isn’t telling the truth,’” James Lockyer said.Ostrowski maintained his innocence throughout his incarceration and, in 2009, a Court of Queen’s bench judge cited serious concerns with the conviction and released Ostrowski on bail. In 2014, then-federal justice minister Peter MacKay ruled the case a likely miscarriage of justice and ordered the Manitoba Court of Appeal to review it.Schwartz said Monday that while it was wrong to not reveal Lovelace’s testimony deal, it is not clear whether the Crown at the time knew about the deal or whether police had withheld that information.Schwartz also said there was other evidence that might cause a jury to link Ostrowski to the killing — mainly other witness testimony about his fear that the victim was going to tell police about Ostrowski’s drug activities.For that reason, Schwartz said, Ostrowski does not meet the legal criteria for a full acquittal.The Appeal Court judges reserved their decision to an undetermined date. Ostrowski remains under bail conditions for now.His case is one of a few high-profile wrongful murder convictions that have come to light in Manitoba.James Driskell was convicted of killing a friend in Winnipeg in 1990. The verdict was based partly on testimony from a witness who was given tens of thousands of dollars in expense payments as well as immunity on an arson charge. The trial was not told about the deal. Driskell’s conviction was quashed in 2006.Kyle Unger was convicted, based partly on hair samples found at the scene, of killing a teenage girl at a rock festival in 1990. DNA tests years later showed the hair did not belong to him.Thomas Sophonow was found guilty of killing a waitress in 1981. That was based largely on the testimony of a witness who contradicted in court what she had told police. The defence was not told about the contradiction and Sophonow spent four years in prison before he was freed.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly referred to Crown attorney Randy Schwartz as Schultz in later paragraphs
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Mike Ure and Aidan Johnson-Bujold of Buck Twenty will treat the crowd to a rousing live concert. The singer/songwriter duo from Harrow, Ontario, are best known for their single, “Here’s To The Nights,” which received prolific play on Canadian Country Radio. The 2017 CMAO Rising Star Award Nominees take pride in the musical presentation of their live show and most definitely aren’t afraid to bring a surplus of feel good energy to the stage.Guests can enjoy refreshments in the event’s Beer Garden or the exclusive Corona Deck viewing area, as well as samplings of Pepsi Pure Leaf and Colio on site. Contesting, carnival games and driver autograph signings will round out the evening, providing fun for the whole family.This year’s Pepsi North America Cup for three-year-old pacers will be the 35th edition of Canada’s richest harness race. It will also be the 12th edition held at the newly renamed Woodbine Mohawk Park.Now the permanent home of Canada’s finest standardbreds and year-round harness racing, the picturesque racetrack in the heart of Campbellville has recently undergone a series of renovations and upgrades. Woodbine Entertainment’s commitment to World Class Horse Racing and providing customers with first-class experiences will be front and centre when the track unveils its new improvements.Post time for the Pepsi North America Cup race card is 6:30 pm. Doors open at 5 pm with the action concluding around 11:30 pm. The event day box office will be open from 4 pm until 10:30 pm and is located at the main entrance.Website: woodbineentertainment.com/mohawkFacebook: facebook.com/WoodbineSBTwitter: twitter.com/WoodbineSBInstagram: instagram.com/WoodbineSBYouTube: youtube.com/WoodbineReplaysABOUT THE MILTON DISTRICT HOSPITAL FOUNDATIONTransforming Giving. Transforming Care. It may surprise you to know that government funding does not support equipment purchases. That means 100% of essential medical equipment required for Milton District Hospital must be funded through donations from our community. The Milton District Hospital Foundation (MDHF) is proud to work with the community of Milton to support Milton District Hospital. MDHF raises funds to help purchase essential medical equipment and technology, and improve the facilities through annual fundraising initiatives, community events and a combination of various other programs. Together, we are transforming healthcare in Milton now, and for generations to come. Login/Register With: Advertisement TORONTO, April 2, 2018 – The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup returns bigger than ever this year to the newly renovated Woodbine Mohawk Park. The signature race of the 2018 standardbred season will take place Saturday, June 16, with K. Trevor Wilson and Dylan Playfair from Letterkenny and live music from country duo Buck Twenty. Twitter Advertisement Facebook Advance tickets are now available at bit.ly/NACup2018. General admission tickets are $10 for guests aged 18+ and guests under 17 receive free admission. Tickets purchased on site at Woodbine Mohawk Park on opening weekend (April 12) will receive 25% off. The Milton District Hospital Foundation will be the official charity partner for this year’s Pepsi North America Cup, with a percentage of all ticket sales going towards the Foundation.Hosts K. Trevor Wilson and Dylan Playfair from acclaimed Comedy Network series, Letterkenny, will guide guests through the thrilling evening of live racing and are sure to provide some comic relief along the way. Their popular show won the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy Series and has amassed fans across the country.