Nunavut appeal court orders new trial for convicted killer

Adrien VanEindhoven’s 2nd degree murder conviction quashed


The Court of Appeal of Nunavut has quashed the second degree murder conviction of Rankin Inlet’s Adrien VanEindhoven and ordered that he be put on trial again.

In January 2007, Justice Robert Kilpatrick convicted VanEindhoven of second degree murder following a trial held September and October 2006 in Rankin Inlet.

Kilpatrick found that on April 23, 2004, VanEindhoven killed 22-year-old Leanne Irkotee by stabbing her through the chest with a steak knife.

He did this, Kilpatrick found, after inflicting a “prolonged and brutal beating” that left her body covered with bruises and bites and her scalp hair embedded on his steel-toed boots.

At trial, VanEindhoven’s lawyer argued that VanEindhoven may have been too drunk that evening to understand what was happening and that the stabbing could have been an accidental self-impalement.

But Kilpatrick ruled that VanEindhoven knew what he was doing when he killed Irkotee.

He sentenced VanEindhoven, who is now 37, to life imprisonment with no chance to apply for parole for 12 years.

The Court of Appeal of Nunavut, a panel of three judges who sit on courts in other jurisdictions, have not yet released reasons for their quashing of VanEindhoven’s conviction.

They heard the appeal at a hearing held this past Feb. 14 in Iqaluit.

“The conviction is quashed. A new trial is ordered. Reasons for judgment will follow,” the three judges said in a memo filed this past March at the Nunavut Court of Justice.

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