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Canada Appeal court upholds conviction of Calgary man in brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend

23:40  14 february  2020
23:40  14 february  2020 Source:   calgaryherald.com

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a group of people standing next to a man: Kevin Rubletz is arrested on June 26, 2015. © Postmedia Archives Kevin Rubletz is arrested on June 26, 2015.

Rhonda Stewart feared she would have to wait months to find out if her daughter’s convicted killer would be granted a new trial.

Fortunately for the B.C. woman, it took mere minutes for an Alberta Court of Appeal panel in Calgary to reject Kevin Rubletz’ conviction appeal Friday in the killing of Jessica Newman.

“I’m very happy that we got an answer right away and of course, with the outcome,” Stewart said, shortly after the province’s top court unanimously rejected the killer’s conviction appeal.

“I was anxious that we might not get the outcome that we wanted,” Stewart said, after the appeal judges heard submissions from defence counsel Jeinis Patel and Crown prosecutor Sarah Clive.

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“We were only in there for a short period of time and we got an immediate answer, which was really nice.”

Stewart said she was concerned the court might find a reason for Rubletz to have a retrial in her daughter’s killing.

“We really didn’t want to have to sit through that again,” she said, after travelling from her B.C. home to hear the appeal.

Rubletz was not present to hear Justice Barb Veldhuis read the court’s decision, rejecting Patel’s argument trial judge Glenn Poelman erred in not allowing certain evidence before jurors.

a woman posing for a picture:  Jessica Rae Newman Jessica Rae Newman

Stewart said not having to see Rubletz once more was somewhat of a blessing.

“He always came in the courtroom with a smile, so I’m kind of happy that I didn’t have to see him again, but at the same time I think I was ready to face him.”

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Patel had argued Poelman erred in not allowing the defence to argue Jessica’s roommate may have been her killer and the trial judge should have allowed three anonymous letters which could have been penned by the real culprit.

But the appeal judges agreed with Clive that the letters contained errors about the crime scene and should not have been put before jurors.

Rubletz was convicted of second-degree murder by an 11-member jury in November, 2017.

They agreed with submissions of trial Crown Shane Parker that Newman’s “footprints of life,” her contact with friends and family, abruptly ended the evening of March 10, 2015, when Rubletz picked her up from work.

In what Parker called a “ crime of passion, ” the Crown theorized the on-again, off-again couple had gone to the area of Balzac northeast of the CrossIron Mills mall for the purpose of having sex, before something set Rubletz off.

Jurors found he drove her to a secluded area north of Calgary and stabbed her at least 75 times.

He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole for 17 years.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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