April 18, 2015 - 8:28 AM
KAMLOOPS - Police and prosecutors failed to confirm the identity of a man who was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced under the wrong name and now one more failure is on the books.
A Supreme Court Justice denied the Kamloops Crown an opportunity to fix its mistakes because they waited too long to bring it back before a judge, leaving the case in some kind of legal limbo.
When police arrested Eric Bradley Charlie in 2013 he told them his name was James Rocky Whitford, an alias he used before. Authorities weren’t tipped off to Charlie’s ruse until a judge ordered him to submit a DNA sample into the national registry. The red flags went up in February 2014, long after he was sentenced as Whitford, an identity with with no criminal record on file.
Charlie, born in 1983, has a lengthy criminal record which likely would have earned him a longer sentence and Crown wanted to appeal his sentencing to tack on more time.
But the matter was dismissed earlier this week after a Kamloops Supreme Court Justice ruled Crown was far beyond the mandatory 30-day deadline to file an appeal.
"There is no satisfactory explanation as to why the crown delayed until June 2014,” Justice William Ehrcke said. “Notices of appeal in this case were all filed out of time (with the) dates ranging from 16 weeks to 11 months."
Part of the appeal was to introduce evidence linking both names under the court record, but since the appeal was denied, it’s unknown if the two names and criminal records will be linked. Currently, both names remain separated on the court database.
Charlie served roughly eight months in jail for the convictions. His shenanigans earned him new charges of obstructing justice.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015