Rodrigue wins appeal

Karen Rodrigue, who was convicted of the second-degree murder of Gerald Dawson in October 2005, has won a new trial.

Karen Rodrigue, who was convicted of the second-degree murder of Gerald Dawson in October 2005, has won a new trial.

“The errors identified in the charge by (Rodrigue) were serious, and were errors of law that had a potential to cause a miscarriage of justice,” said the appeal court judgment.

“They can only be remedied by a new trial.”

The appeal, which was heard on May 28, suggested there were flaws in the judge’s charge to the jury during the trial.

Rodrigue’s appeal lawyers claimed the charge was “inadequate” and “misleading,” said the judgment from the Yukon Court of Appeal, which was handed down last week.

The lawyers argued the judge did not adequately instruct the jury on how to consider Rodrigue’s conduct after the stabbing, and how to interpret evidence that speaks to Dawson’s good character and Rodrigue’s bad character.

The three appeal judges found merit in the claims and awarded Rodrigue a new trial.

Rodrigue admitted to the June 2004 stabbing, but said she was intoxicated and provoked by Dawson’s sexual assault and by his “belittling slur that she was a ‘crack whore’ whom nobody would believe,” said the judgment. (LC)