CANADA: A former Mississauga chiropractor found guilty of bludgeoning his wife to death with an axe has failed in his bid to have the conviction and life sentence overturned.
The Ontario Court of Appeal announced on April 5 that it struck down an appeal by Kirk Klymchuk, 50, who argued that the jury's verdict in spring 2008 was unreasonable and that the trial judge failed to properly instruct the jury before deliberations.
The panel of appeal judges dismissed those arguments.
"The appellant received a fair trial. He was ably represented by experienced counsel and the learned trial judge ensured that the jury only heard evidence that was properly admissible," the judges said in their ruling. "The charge to the jury was a model of fairness and clarity and the trial judge presented the appellant's case fully and in its most favourable light."
In May 2008, a jury found Klymchuk guilty of second-degree murder in the slaying of his wife, Maria, 36.
Dawson issued an automatic life sentence and later ruled Klymchuk couldn't apply for parole for at least 13 years.
Klymchuk went to trial for first-degree murder in the April 12, 1998, slaying of his wife. Jurors returned a guilty verdict on second-degree murder.
In reaching their verdict after five days of deliberations, jurors weren't informed that it was the third time Klymchuk had stood trial for killing his wife, a Toronto schoolteacher.
He was initially convicted in 2000 in Orangeville, but the verdict was overturned on appeal after he had served five years of a life sentence in a federal penitentiary.
His second trial—in 2006 in Brampton—ended with a hung jury.
Prosecutor Eric Taylor told jurors that Klymchuk meticulously staged the crime scene to make it look like his wife was brutally slain after confronting intruders during a break-in at the couple's Caledon home.
Klymchuk was a chiropractor in Mississauga before moving his practice to Brampton, where he was working when he was arrested nearly 13 years ago.