Judge changes Travis Vader murder verdict to manslaughter

Travis Vader verdict changed to manslaughter in killing of Lyle and Marie McCann

EDMONTON – An Edmonton judge has changed his murder verdict to manslaughter in the high-profile case of Travis Vader and the two missing seniors he was convicted of killing.

Lawyers had returned to court to argue about whether there should be a mistrial because Justice Denny Thomas used an outdated section of the Criminal Code in his original verdict.

Thomas told court he made a mistake when he convicted Vader last month of second-degree murder in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann.

The McCanns, in their late 70s, disappeared after setting out on a camping trip from their Edmonton-area home to British Columbia in 2010.

But in finding Vader guilty, the judge used Section 230 of the Criminal Code, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 1990.

Thomas told court his written decision will follow.

“I accept that it was an error,” Thomas told court at the start of proceedings Monday.

Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press

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