Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau
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Published: November 17, 2017
Updated: November 18, 2017 8:13 AM EST
Toronto SUN News Crime
After a night of drinking and gambling at Caesar’s Windsor casino in October 2012, Andrew Cowan drove his friend’s Ford F-150 at speeds of up to 150 km/hr and sent the pick-up flying through the air into the second storey of a Leamington, Ont., building.
The friend, Ed Witt, was in the passenger seat when the truck went airborne and ended up dead.
Cowan was convicted in August of second-degree murder, having failed to convince a jury Witt’s death was the consequence of a mutual suicide pact between best friends.
Now, in a stunning allegation prior to his sentencing, Cowan’s lawyer Patrick Ducharme has filed a motion accusing the trial judge of failing to disclose “the nature and extent of her close friendship” with the Crown who prosecuted the case, Thomas Meehan.
The judge met at a local bar for drinks with the Crown, the Crown’s articling student and lead investigating officer after the jury reached its verdict
PATRICK DUCHARME, DEFENCE LAWYER “After that leaving that bar, the Crown and judge communicated via text message to meet up for dinner alone,” Ducharme stated in his application.
“That the judge and Crown may have communicated in the absence of the accused and his defence lawyer (Ducharme) via text message or other means, during Cowan’s trial,” stated Ducharme.
“That the Crown engaged in conduct that undermines the integrity of the judicial process…the accused only learned of the nature and extent of the relationship between the Judge and Crown after the trial was complete and the jury rendered its verdict,” alleged Ducharme.