Craig Short acquitted following third trial (AUDIO)
A Mooretown man was acquitted of murder in the death of his wife at the conclusion of his third trial in St. Thomas on Monday.
Craig Short, 59, cried and hugged supporters after being found not guilty by Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas.
The judgement followed two previous trials in Sarnia, the first resulting in a hung jury in May 2012, and the second in February 2013 ending in a first degree murder conviction.
The conviction was subsequently overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal on grounds that included evidence of possible third party suspects.
Short maintained his innocence in the largely circumstantial case, denying he struck his 48-year-old wife Barbara from behind with part of a fence post, at the rear of the family home on St. Clair Parkway in October 2008.
An emotional Short talked to reporters about the acquittal outside the courtroom.
“It’s huge,” said Short. “Finally they believe in me. It’s been almost 11 years that this cloud has been over my head, people thinking I was that type of person. Now, it’s finally over that I’m not.”
Short said his life has been ruined but he will try to rebuild, noting there is still no justice for his wife.
“My kids are behind me 100 per cent, but everything else is basically gone,” he said. “My reputation is gone, other than those people that know me and it’s coming around that people are believing. I’m trying to get back on my feet with my business again and starting another company. It’s been rough, but my kids have had my back all along.”
Barbara’s father, 91-year-old Robert Buckingham, also spoke to reporters and said he accepts the judgement.
“Absolutely, I believe in the law and I try and uphold it myself. What the judge rendered, we’ll live with that,” said Buckingham.
Barbara’s sister Deborah Dewan said it’s been a long haul and terribly painful.
“So now it’s time for healing, getting on with life, the judge has spoken,” she said.
Short was found not guilty of second-degree murder at the close of the third trial on Monday.
There was a change of venue to St. Thomas and Short was tried by judge alone after the first two jury trials in Sarnia.
-With files from Colin Gowdy
Craig Short speaks with reporters outside of the courthouse in St. Thomas on Monday:
Barbara Short’s sister Deborah Dewan and her father, 91-year-old Robert Buckingham: