New trial for Vancouver man accused of shooting out-of-season bull moose near Merritt
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May 17, 2016 - 10:31 AM
KAMLOOPS - A new trial has been ordered for a Vancouver man convicted of illegally killing and abandoning a moose in the Nicola Valley.
Xin Xiao, 49, was found guilty last year of hunting out of season, possession of an animal and abandoning an animal.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley found Xiao did not receive a fair trial in provincial court because the judge allowed a conservation officer to provide what was tantamount to expert evidence about the time of the moose’s death.
The Crown’s case was built on circumstantial evidence.
Court heard two deer hunters came across a dead bull moose at a logging road near Merritt in October 2013.
They testified that when they returned to the same road later, they saw two Asian men with a truck backed up to the moose.
One of the hunters said the pair appeared to be using a winch to get the moose, which was not yet field dressed or gutted, into the truck.
Conservation officer Kelly Dahl was called to the scene and concluded that the moose was killed that day.
However, an experienced hunter who first came across the carcass testified that the animal could have been killed up to two days earlier.
Dahl wasn’t qualified to be an expert witness at the trial.
“The purpose of providing notice of expert evidence is fairness,” Dley wrote in his decision.
“The notice allows the defence to properly prepare for cross-examination and, if necessary, to consult with or call its own expert. Mr. Xiao was deprived of those benefits and that resulted in an unfair trial.”
A surveillance camera at a gas station in Merritt recorded Xiao and Li the morning before the moose was found.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016