William Sandeson is appealing his first-degree murder conviction, two weeks after a jury found him guilty of killing fellow Dalhousie University student Taylor Samson.
Sandeson’s lawyer, Eugene Tan, confirmed in an email Friday afternoon that his client had filed the appeal.
Taylor Samson disappeared on Aug. 15, 2015. His body has never been found.
What are the grounds for appeal?
Tan said Sandeson is using at least four points to argue his case — including that information shared by private detective Bruce Webb was a violation of Sandeson’s solicitor-client privilege.
Webb is a retired RCMP sergeant who was hired by Sandeson’s legal team as a private detective. The jury didn’t hear that Webb tracked down two witnesses in the case, Justin Blades and Pookiel McCabe, and tipped off a member of Halifax Regional Police about what he learned from the witnesses.
Blades and McCabe ended up providing damning testimony during the trial.
Tan said Sandeson is also arguing that he was detained before his first interview and denied a right to counsel.
He’s also appealing on the grounds that his cellphone was searched and seized, contrary to Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Finally, Tan said Sandeson is appealing on the grounds that police didn’t follow charter rules when they searched his apartment.
What was heard at trial
During the trial, court heard that both Sandeson and Samson were involved in the drug trade.
The prosecution alleged Sandeson was in money trouble and set up a drug deal with Samson on Aug. 15, 2015. When Samson arrived at Sandeson’s Halifax apartment, the Crown says Sandeson shot him to death and took his nine kilograms of marijuana.
The defence argued during its closing arguments that Sandeson is not a criminal mastermind and urged the jury to find him not guilty.
During court testimony, neighbours who lived across the hall from Sandeson testified that on Aug. 15, 2015, they heard a loud bang and saw a man with dark, curly hair sitting at Sandeson’s kitchen table, bleeding profusely. They also saw drugs and cash.
They left, and when they returned later, they saw bloody streak marks on the floor leading toward the bathroom.
A shower curtain was later found on the Sandeson family farm with Samson’s DNA on it.
In the days after Samson disappeared, Sandeson’s brother Adam found a large quantity of marijuana in his…