July 24, 2013 - 6:33 AM
KELOWNA - The twelve jurors responsible for deciding the fate of Keith Gregory Wiens heard evidence from over twenty witnesses in the past two months. But they didn't hear about allegations that Wiens had bragged about his ability to commit the perfect crime and how he knew how to dispose of a body as well as character evidence about how Wiens treated an ex-wife.
In most cases, the evidence was found prejudicial to Wiens' right to a fair trial. He must be convicted based on facts and law, not how people feel about the man—though plenty of people are available for that information.
Some of the inadmissable evidence relates to a 2010 conversation with Kalmring's family, including her sister Shelley Pertelson. They recall Wiens saying if he was harassed by a crackhead in downtown Vancouver he would shoot the individual in the head and put a rock in their hand to claim self-defence.
In another conversation, Kalmring's family recalls Wiens saying if he were to commit the perfect crime he would know what to do and how he would dispose of a dead body.
Justice Geoff Barrow said the evidence didn't mean much since Wiens is not charged with first degree murder, indicating planning and deliberation. He ruled the evidence could be used only in a narrow way and was prone to misuse because it could infer guilt. It also attacks the character of the accused.
Testimony from Wiens' second wife Sandy Laidman was also deemed inadmissable. Crown lawyer Colin Forsyth interviewed Laidman as a potential witness. She was married to Wiens from 2000 to 2004, just a year before Wiens met Kalmring through an online dating site. Laidman described how money was of significant importance to Wiens during their marriage and how she paid him for monthly expenses despite the fact they were married. During domestic disputes she said Wiens would confiscate her car keys and wedding ring.
Barrow ruled this evidence was not sufficiently relevant to the case. Such evidence of “bad character” could prejudice the jury, jeopardizing Wiens' right to a fair trial.
While they did not testify for the trial, family of Wiens' first and now-deceased wife, Francis, also recall the accused's behavior regarding financial matters when his wife was diagnosed with brain cancer. One family member, who prefers to remain unnamed, says Wiens visited them in Calgary, giving them a letter stating he was not paying any medical expenses for someone who was already dying.
In his testimony, Wiens told the jury he paid for the household accomodations required by his ailing wife when she moved to Calgary. But the family members insist he didn't pay anything towards her care, nor did he visit Francis in the hospital while staying in Calgary.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013