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Canada  

Loses appeal in botched hit

The gang leader behind a botched hit that led to the death of a 34-year-old Saskatoon mother of four has lost an appeal of his conviction.

A judge found Joshua Petrin guilty in 2016 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Lorry Ann Santos was shot to death in the front entryway of her home in September 2012 by two gunmen.

Petrin's trial before a judge alone heard that the shooters had gone to the wrong address after he directed them to kill a former member of his White Boy Posse gang.

Petrin had argued his case should be retried because payments made to some witnesses weren't disclosed and the trial judge didn't take enough account of credibility issues with certain testimony.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal didn't see any problem with the judge's verdict.

"On the whole, the verdict of the trial judge was one that she could properly have rendered based on the evidence before her," Justice Ralph Ottenbreit wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel.

Court documents said Petrin, who is from Edmonton, was a high-ranking member of the White Boy Posse gang that ran a drug-dealing operation in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, but had started making inroads into Saskatchewan.

During Petrin's trial, Santos's husband, Ferdinand, told court what happened the morning his wife was killed.

He said they were going about their morning routine and eating breakfast around 6 a.m. while their children were still asleep. He moved to the master washroom to get ready for work and his wife, who was on maternity leave, laid down on the bed in the next room with their infant child.

Santos testified that he didn't recall hearing the doorbell, but he did hear loud gunshots that sounded as though they were inside the house. He left the washroom and saw the baby was still on the bed. His wife wasn't there.

He told court he went into the hall and saw his wife face down and bleeding from a wound in her back. Their oldest daughter called 911 as he turned his wife over and tried to get a response.

He didn't get one.

Police and paramedics arrived and took Lorry Santos away on a stretcher. It was the last time her husband saw her.

She was pronounced dead in hospital at 6:54 a.m. that morning.



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