MONTREAL — Two officers' "blatant disregard" for the law forced a Quebec judge to throw out the alleged confession of a man wanted in the U.S. for murdering his wife.
Justice Guy Cournoyer's ruling could allow Kyle Sheppard, 31, to avoid the death penalty in Ohio.
Cournoyer ruled last week that Sheppard, 31, may be extradited to stand trial for the murder of his wife, Katie Sheppard, 30.
However, Cournoyer said he couldn't use Sheppard's alleged confession in the ruling because two Quebec officers didn't provide a "reasonable opportunity" for Sheppard to speak to a lawyer in the initial moments after being arrested.
U.S. prosecutors charged Sheppard with first-degree murder — which carries the death penalty. However, Sheppard's lawyer, Daniel Brodsky, told QMI Agency on Friday that "if (Sheppard's) statements to police are not admissible in Canadian court, how could they be admissible in American court?"
"We think the (admissible) evidence amounts to no more than manslaughter," Brodsky said.
Police found Katie Sheppard dead in Toledo, Ohio, on Nov. 2, 2012, wrapped in a blanket on her front porch with a belt around her neck, according to court documents.
Police in Saguenay, Que., 200 km north of Quebec City, said Sheppard called them from a motel on Nov. 4 and turned himself in.
Police claimed Sheppard admitted to strangling his wife after he discovered she had been cheating on him.
"The police officers failed to keep appropriate notes, their oral testimony was unreliable," Cournoyer wrote in the ruling.
Brodsky told QMI Agency on Friday that he will appeal the extradition order.