From the Toronto Star Aug 14, 2009 01:23 PM
A former Canada Post supervisor admitted today to the 1992 killing of his girlfriend, two years after the Supreme Court of Canada threw out his conviction in a landmark decision because key evidence was obtained through hypnosis.
Stephen Trochym pleaded guilty this morning to the manslaughter of Donna Hunter, who was found slashed and stabbed in her High Park apartment.
He sawed open his lover’s neck with a bread knife when she insisted he move out, the court heard in an agreed statement of facts.
"This 17-year-long ordeal can finally come to a close with Stephen Trochym finally admitting what has done," Crown Jill Cameron said.
Trochym, now 46, will serve one day in jail and three years of probation. He had already served 7 years and 48 days in jail, Cameron said.
Trochym was initially found guilty of second-degree murder in 1995.
But in February 2007, the country’s highest court overturned the conviction, discrediting the practice of using evidence obtained from witnesses who have been hypnotized as unreliable.
Critical evidence in Trochym’s case came from a neighbour who said, after being hypnotized, that she remembered seeing the accused leave Hunter’s apartment the day after the slaying.
She had originally told police she had seen him leave the following day. However, the new timing corresponded to the investigators’ theories that the killer returned to Hunter’s apartment to rearrange her body to make it appear like a sexual assault.
The Supreme Court’s decision called for a new trial, which concluded today.
Until today, Trochym had always maintained his innocence.