© NEW TRIAL — In this 2005 file photo, Nelson hart waits for testimony during his first-degree murder trial in Supreme Court in Gander. Mr. Hart was granted an appeal in the conviction of the murder of his twin daughters.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Prosecutors in Newfoundland have asked Canada’s top court to review an appeal court ruling ordering a new trial for a man sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of drowning his twin daughters.
Nelson Hart was found guilty in 2007 of first-degree murder in the deaths of his three-year-old daughters on Aug. 4, 2002, at Gander Lake.
Last month, a three-judge panel of the appeals division of provincial Supreme Court unanimously ruled Hart should have been allowed to testify in private at his trial.
The judges cited his “tendency towards epileptic seizures and his difficulty in thinking and speaking clearly under stress” and with lots of people around.
In a split 2-1 decision, the court ruled that a confession Hart gave during an undercover RCMP operation should not have been entered as evidence.
It will likely be weeks or months before the Supreme Court of Canada decides whether it will review the case.