Supporters of Vernon man convicted of murder launch site to win his freedom

A 'miscarriage of justice'

Supporters of a former Vernon man sentenced to life in jail for killing a Kelowna sex trade worker in 1998 have launched a website in an effort to win his freedom.

Childhood friend Roderic Patton created the "miscarriage of justice" website, claiming Sebastian Peter Cerra was wrongfully convicted of second-degree murder.

Cerra has been imprisoned for almost 25 years and had an appeal of his sentence denied in 2004.

In 1999, Cerra was convicted in the death of 24-year-old Ruby Kirkpatrick on the side of Glenmore Road over an alleged dispute over drugs.

The website contends "new evidence ... proves Mr. Sebastian Cerra was wrongfully convicted of a murder he never committed."

It says new DNA evidence points to other suspects and that new eyewitness and crime scene evidence was suppressed by Crown counsel and the RCMP "to the exclusion of other suspects."

The site claims the jury's verdict "weighed entirely on inadmissible docket identification evidence."

It says the Crown's "tunnel vision and extreme prejudicial determination for a conviction, blindly resulted in a blatant miscarriage of justice."

Patton claims the case "has many of the attributes that mirror the (David) Milgaard wrongful conviction case."

Milgaard was 16 when he was charged and wrongfully convicted in the rape and murder of Saskatoon nursing aide Gail Miller in 1969. He spent 23 years in jail until his release in 1992.

Patton says he hopes the UBC Innocence Project "will take up this blatant and prejudicial wrongful conviction."

"A Miscarriages of Justice Commission has been promised the citizens of Canada by the prime minister and the minister of justice. Based on all the new exculpatory evidence, it is self evident that a newly formed commission must act to present this evidence in court and reverse this wrongful conviction," the site states.

"A judicial system that permits officers of the law and Crown prosecutors to fabricate evidence and commit perjury … is guilty of conspiracy and contempt," Cerra himself is quoted as saying on the site.

"When judges are biased and trials are unfair, justice no longer exists."

However, the Criminal Conviction Review Group dismissed Cerra's claims.

"The CCRG contend that this evidence is not new.... Having considered all relevant matters, we have reached the conclusion that your application does not contain any new and significant information that would provide
a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred in your case."

More Vernon News