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Allan Potter appeals murder conviction

Allan Potter, 55, awaits the judge before closing submissions in his murder trial start in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's Monday afternoon.
Allan Potter, 55, awaits the judge before closing submissions in his murder trial start in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's Monday afternoon. - Tara Bradbury
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Allan Potter has asked Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court for a new trial, saying his recent first-degree murder conviction is unreasonable and not supported by evidence.

Potter, 55, filed the notice of appeal days after he was convicted by a jury and sentenced on March 8 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the death of Dale Porter in 2014.

The document lists eight grounds for appeal, and many of them include errors allegedly made by the trial judge when instructing the jury before sending them into deliberations.

"The jury charge contained errors with respect to summary of evidence, including misstatement of evidence and suggested findings of fact, and displayed bias toward the Crown's evidence throughout," the document reads.

The notice also alleges the judge erred by admitting statements Potter had made to undercover RCMP officers during their use of a major crime investigative technique, also known as a Mr. Big operation.

The judge should have discharged or questioned a juror who disclosed he had worked with the victim's sister, the document alleges.

Dale Porter. - Contributed
Dale Porter. - Contributed

Porter, 39, was a fisherman, trucker and father of two who was found stabbed almost 20 times in his North River, Conception Bay North, driveway in the early morning hours of June 29, 2014. He later succumbed to his injuries, which included a severed jugular vein, in Carbonear hospital.

Potter and another man — who cannot be named at this point because he is also charged with Porter's murder and will go to trial at a later date — were socializing with a woman and Porter in a Bay Roberts bar the night of June 28, 2014. According to the prosecutors, Porter had been disrespectful to the Vikings Motorcycle Club — of which Potter is a member — and had made an "indecent proposal" to the woman, who was the unidentified man's girlfriend at the time.

The court heard Potter and his co-accused had decided something needed to be done about Porter's disrespect, and buddied up to him, getting a cab with him back to his home after the bar closed. That's when Porter was murdered.

Although Potter was questioned by police in the days after the murder, he wasn't arrested until two years later, after an extensive RCMP undercover "Mr. Big" operation in this province and in Ontario.

Potter, who testified at trial, insisted he had stabbed Porter in self-defence when Porter attacked him and the other man with a knife.

The jury deliberated for approximately four days before returning with a guilty verdict.

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