WATCH: Court documents obtained by CHEK News indicate the Crown prosecutor in charge with reviewing the allegedly flawed investigation into the murder of Kristy Morrey gave legal advice to RCMP. April Lawrence reports.
Nearly 12 years after 28-year-old Kristy Morrey was murdered in Port Alberni, the first-degree murder charge against her former boyfriend, 54-year-old Larry Darling, was stayed.
RCMP and Crown counsel wanted to keep the reasons for that kept sealed, but CHEK News fought in court to have the documents released and they revealed a potentially flawed investigation including allegations of police misconduct.
“As the court noted, a number of challenges and issues arose, including with respect to case management, disclosure, and the handling of exhibits and evidence. These issues need to be examined,” said B.C. Prosecution Service spokesperson Dan McLaughlin.
Peter Juk, the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, has asked senior Crown counsel Robert Wright to review the case. But Larry Darling’s lawyer, Kevin McCullough says Wright himself was involved in the investigation, providing legal advice to the RCMP regarding their undercover operation.
“That involvement would seriously prevent him from conducting an assessment of the conduct of Crown counsel and police officers,” said McCullough.
“I think it’s really important that someone independent be assessing the conduct or misconduct of Crown counsel, and of police officers otherwise you simply will not have a justice being seen to be done,” he said.
Darling was arrested and charged in 2015 following a complex and costly Mr. Big sting operation — something the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled is flawed.
“I’m suggest to you that anybody faced with the type of scenarios and the type of set up that Mr. Darling was would make a false confession, we’d all like to think that we wouldn’t,” McCullough said.
He says Larry Darling has moved off Vancouver Island and is trying to start his life over.
Court documents show the RCMP have since met with Kristy Morrey’s family and told them the investigation will continue, but added that Darling is the only suspect at this time. McCullough maintains Darling is innocent.
Robert Wright will release his full review of the case, and any recommendations, in the fall.