Sarnia Courthouse ( file photo by Dave Dentinger)

Another Trial Ordered In Craig Short Murder Case

A 57-year-old Mooretown man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2008 beating death of his wife, is getting a new trial.

After a trial that ended with a hung jury in May 2012, Craig Short was found guilty at a second trial in February 2013 and sentenced by Justice Joseph Donohue to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.

He was freed on bail pending an appeal which has been allowed by the Ontario Court of Appeal in a decision posted Tuesday.

The appeal court ruled the trial judge erred in law when he denied an application from Phillip Millar of London to be removed as Short’s lawyer during pre-trial motions before the second trial.

“I had asked to be removed on the second trial and the judge didn’t allow that,” says Millar. “The law was pretty clear at that point that if a lawyer says that they have to be removed because of a conflict, it has to happen. Essentially I was forced to run the trial, so just that ground alone was enough for the case to be overturned on appeal.”

The court also considered other grounds for appeal including evidence of possible third-party suspects.

Short maintains he’s innocent, denying he struck his 48-year-old wife Barbara from behind with a section of a fence post, at the rear of the family home on St. Clair Parkway in October 2008.

The Crown’s circumstantial case claimed Short killed his wife because she was seeking a division of assets in divorce proceedings and was having an affair.

A date for a third trial is not yet known.