Supreme Court to hear appeal by Iqaluit man facing second murder trial
Daniel Hodgson was acquitted in 2021 in death of man at party in Apex
An appeal in the nearly six-year-long legal proceedings involving an Iqaluit man acquitted of second-degree murder will be heard in Canada’s highest court.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada announced it will hear Daniel Hodgson’s appeal of a Nunavut Court of Appeal decision ordering him to face a new trial in the 2017 death of Bradley Winsor at a house party in Apex.
Hodgson, an Iqaluit business owner, was acquitted on a charge of second-degree murder in May 2021 in connection with Winsor’s death.
At his 2021 trial, Hodgson said he believed Winsor was going to hit a woman so he grabbed him, putting him in a chokehold.
In acquitting Hodgson, Judge Susan Charlesworth cited a lack of evidence that Hodgson intended to commit murder when he put Winsor in a chokehold.
The Crown appealed the decision.
In October 2022, a panel of Nunavut’s Court of Appeal judges ordered a new trial for Hodgson, saying Charlesworth did not fully assess Hodgson’s argument of self-defence and didn’t properly consider the danger of a chokehold.
On Dec. 13, 2022, Hodgson’s lawyers, Michael Lacy and Sara Little of the Toronto firm Brauti Thorning LLP, filed an appeal of the Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme Court.
In their filing, the lawyers asked if the appeal court’s decision to order a new trial was a miscarriage of justice and if there were any legal errors.
In a response letter, Crown lawyers Philippe Plourde and Julie Laborde argued the error was at the lower court with the trial judge’s decision to acquit Hodgson.
The Crown asked that the Supreme Court dismiss Hodgson’s leave to appeal, which it did not do.
“Because the matter is before the Court, we will not be providing any formal comment,” Little said in response to an email from Nunatsiaq News requesting a reaction to the court’s decision.
There is no date set yet for a hearing for Hodgson at the Supreme Court.
On average, it takes about eight months after the leave of appeal is granted for a hearing to be held, according to Alison Crawford, a communications adviser for Chief Justice Richard Wagner. After that, it generally takes about five months before a judgment is released.