Three members of the Vernon’s so-called Greeks gang have lost their appeals of their November 2012 murder convictions.
Peter Manolakos, Leslie Podolski and Sheldon Richard O’Donnell were convicted of various counts in the murders of David Marnuik, Thomas Bryce, and Ronald Thom between July 2004 and May 2005.
All three were given life sentences.
They filed an appeal last June on 16 grounds.
The B.C. Court of Appeal announced in a brief online statement yesterday that the appeals were dismissed.
The reasons for that were not released because judges have not had time to edit out information about Crown witnesses who were subject to publication bans.
The statement says a redacted version may be released at a later date.
Below is the complete statement issued by the court.
STATEMENT CONCERNING THESE APPEALS AS READ BY A SINGLE JUDGE PRONOUNCING JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO S. 21(3) OF
THE COURT OF APPEAL ACT
This is a statement that will be posted on the Court’s website concerning these appeals until it is replaced with redacted reasons for judgment, as now explained.
Leslie Podolski, Sheldon Richard O’Donnell, and Peter Manolakos are three of five men convicted by a jury of various counts in the homicides of three men in or around Vernon, British Columbia between July 2004 and May 31, 2005. The appellants advance 16 grounds of appeal. All grounds are addressed in the reasons for judgment.
The appeals are dismissed.
The reasons for judgment are of the court, and are signed. However, there is a publication ban in place issued by the trial judge, Mr. Justice Smart, in respect of information identifying certain witnesses. That ban was issued under s. 486.5 of the Criminal Code. The publication ban means that the full reasons for judgment must be sealed and only a redacted version complying with the ban may be released to the public.
Today, March 14, 2018, Crown counsel and counsel for each of the appellants will receive a copy of the unredacted reasons for judgment, having provided a comprehensive undertaking. In general terms, counsel have undertaken to the Court not to: copy those reasons in any fashion; provide the reasons for judgment to any other person; allow those reasons to be viewed by any other person with narrow exception and then only in counsel’s presence; or transmit those reasons to any other person.
There shall be a brief administrative hearing with counsel and a judge of the division to canvass the redactions required to allow for public release of reasons for judgment that comply with the terms of the publication ban.
The reasons for judgment then will be redacted and draft redacted reasons will be provided to counsel on the same undertaking for comment at a further administrative hearing, if required. Counsel will return the original reasons for judgment and the draft redacted version to the Court. The final redacted version of the reasons for judgment will then be released in chambers and made available to the public as is our custom.
The Court acknowledges the cooperation of all counsel in handling the mechanics of the delivery of judgment in this manner.