New BrunswickNew Brunswick news
Updated: Thu, 06 Jun 2013 12:08:54 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

MacKenzie's defence lawyer questions murder retrial



MacKenzie's defence lawyer questions murder retrial

Defence lawyers for Crystal Dawn MacKenzie say it was wrong to put the Saint John woman on trial a second time for the murder of her common-law husband.

MacKenzie, 30, had been accused in the stabbing death of Patrick Thomas, 29, three years ago.

The jury found her not guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday evening after hours of deliberations.

MacKenzie took the stand in her own defence, where she testified that she did not intend to kill him and she was trying to protect herself and her three children.

MacKenzie had been tried before and the verdict was thrown out by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal.

David Kelly and Brian Munro, her defence lawyers, questioned the Crown's decision to have the case tried again before a jury.

"I don't think it should have gone to a retrial anyway. It's a rare thing to have a retrial in this city or province or country on a jury trial," Kelly said.

"Remember, we had a jury selected three years ago. They found her not guilty. The Court of Appeal overturned it recently within the last six months to a year. The Supreme Court of Canada has said, be very careful on how you deal with jury findings."

After the verdict was read to the court, the judge told MacKenzie she was free to go.

She was immediately rushed by friends and family who wanted to hug her.

It did not appear Thomas had any relatives in the court at any time during the retrial.

Outside the court, Kelly told reporters the trial has been a horrible journey for his client and the ordeal had inflicted a tremendous emotional toll on her.

When asked what kind of shape she is in, her lawyer said, "bad, terrible."

"She has to go to the hospital because the stress this has put her under, has been horrendous," Kelly said.

The Crown prosecutors left the courthouse on Wednesday evening without commenting on the verdict.

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