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Judge wasn’t biased in case of B.C. serial killer: appeal court

Cody Alan Legebokoff is shown in a B.C. RCMP handout photo.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has rejected a serial killer's application to have a new trial based on a belief that a judge implied his lawyers behaved unethically.

Cody Legebokoff was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced in September 2014 to life in prison for killing three women and a girl in central B.C.

His lawyer Eric Gottardi told the B.C. Court of Appeal that the judge made disparaging comments about Legebokoff's counsel but those views were only made public after a sentence was imposed.

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The judge said Legebokoff's lawyers had exaggerated and distorted evidence in a 2012 application to have the trial moved to Vancouver, but the man argued in appeal court that he should have been made aware of those beliefs before the trial.

However, B.C. appeal court Justice David Frankel says in a written decision that a judge's view that counsel has acted unprofessionally does not convey bias because judges must decide cases based on facts and the law.

Frankel says Legebokoff was competently represented throughout the trial and there is no suggestion that the judge's views affected how he conducted the proceedings.

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