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Stoney Nakoda woman appeals manslaughter conviction

Vanessa Poucette's defence lawyer Alain Hepner filed the appeal on July 23 – if successful, defence is seeking an acquittal, or new trial
Calgary Court of Queens Bench.

CALGARY – A Stoney Nakoda woman who was found guilty of manslaughter earlier this year is appealing her conviction.

Sentenced to two years and probation less than a month ago, Vanessa Poucette, 48, was handed down her conviction and sentence by Justice David Gates in relation to the 2016 death of her common-law partner Brennon Riley Twoyoungmen.

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner filed the appeal on July 23 on the grounds involving a question of law. If approved, defence is seeking an acquittal, or new trial.

Twoyoungmen, 42, died after being stabbed in the chest by Poucette in October 2016.

During the trial it was revealed Poucette did call 911 after the stabbing when Twoyoungmen was still alive, but due to the confusion of the address, located on a Nation that spans more than 58 square kilometres, it took emergency responders almost an hour to get to the house.

Twoyoungmen died from his injuries by the time paramedics arrived.

Poucette pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defence, but on Feb. 28 Justice Gates determined "self-defence was not available in this instance."

A Gladue report, a pre-sentencing report that takes offenders Indigenous background into consideration, was ordered and four months later Justice Gates sentenced Poucette to two years in the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Saskatchewan, plus three years probation and required counselling.   

Poucette had already spent three months in custody before bail and an additional 29 months under house arrest, which helped reduce her sentence to two years.

Defence said Poucette wants to be present at the appeal hearing.

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