The murder charge against Kenneth Dauphinais was stayed after a justice deemed evidence from the Calgary Police Service’s “Mr. Big” sting inadmissible.
Kenneth was charged with second-degree murder in 2018 in the death of his ex-wife Terrie Ann Dauphinais.
Twenty-four-year-old Terrie Ann was found dead in her Citadel home in 2002. Her three children were found safe inside the home.
In 2018, CPS charged Kenneth with second-degree murder.
Read more: Calgary man charged in 2002 death of ex-wife
In January 2020, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Rosemary Nation deemed evidence that was collected during an undercover operation targeting Kenneth inadmissible.
Police used a “Mr. Big” sting operation as part of the investigation.
The tactic involves the accused being brought into a fictitious criminal organization where the target builds trust with undercover officers. Eventually, the accused is put into a situation where they might give details of the offence under investigation.
In her decision, Nation cited that there was an abuse of process on the part of Calgary police officers involved in the operation.
“The police showed no concept of restraint in the pressure they were willing to put on the accused,” Nation said.
According to court documents, the accused was initially told that police were going to arrest him because they had new information from an informant.
After the accused insisted that the informant was lying, undercover police created more pressure.
The accused was told there was a manhunt out to find him.
Two uniformed police officers also visited the accused’s teenaged children and informed them that their father would be arrested in the death of their mother.
The accused was also isolated for four days, and undercover officers noticed he became more paranoid and stressed.
Nation said in her decision: “There has been abuse of process when one considers the combination of threat of loss of liberty, the pressure amounting to coercion, the involvement of the accused’s children and the psychological effect of the four days of confinement on the accused.”
Crown prosecutor Ken McCafrey said that the prosecution believed there was a reasonable likelihood of conviction.
However, McCafrey said that once the evidence from the “Mr. Big” operation was deemed inadmissible, the prosecution took the unfortunate step of staying the charge.
Criminal defence lawyer Balfour Der said that his client was relieved at the decision.
Der acknowledged that it’s rare that “Mr. Big” operations are ruled inadmissible in court, especially when abuse of process is cited.
“Legally, it was one of those times where we were able to point out that police had gone too far in their investigation,” Der said.
Police declined to comment on the case.
– With files from Global News’ Nancy Hixt
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.