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Supreme Court upholds murder conviction

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the conviction of an Edmonton man found guilty of killing a St. Albert high school janitor in 2006. Thieu Tran was originally convicted of manslaughter in the death of An Quoc Tran (no relation). On Feb.

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the conviction of an Edmonton man found guilty of killing a St. Albert high school janitor in 2006.

Thieu Tran was originally convicted of manslaughter in the death of An Quoc Tran (no relation).

On Feb. 10, 2004 Tran went to the apartment of his ex-wife, Hao Le Duong, in Edmonton and found her in bed with An Tran.

He ran into the kitchen, grabbed two knives and stabbed An Tran multiple times.

The man, a father of four and a janitor at Paul Kane High School for 24 years, bled to death within a few minutes.

The man also attacked Duong, slashing her hands and face and then put one of the knives in An Tran’s hands and cut himself.

At the original trial he admitted to the killing, but relied on a defence of provocation.

His lawyer Peter Royal argued Tran lost control when he saw Duong with another man and was guilty of manslaughter, not murder.

The law allows a manslaughter conviction instead of murder if a person was reacting to a serious insult in the heat of passion.

In 2008, the Alberta Court of Appeal rejected the provocation argument and found the manslaughter conviction was improper, substituting a conviction for second-degree murder.

The appeal court sent the case back for sentencing where Tran received life with no chance of parole for 10 years, but the appeals court also changed that sentence, increasing it to 15 years with no chance of parole.

In Friday’s decision, Supreme Court Justice Louise Charron wrote the court’s unanimous opinion agreeing completely with the appeal court.

“There was no air of reality to the defence of provocation.”

Charron wrote that, given Tran knew the affair was going on and had been separated from his wife for some time, the idea he was surprised and provoked makes no sense.

“The accused’s view of his estranged wife’s sexual involvement with another man after the couple had separated — found at trial to be the insult — cannot in law be sufficient to excuse a loss of control in the form of a homicidal rage,” she wrote. “There was nothing sudden about the accused’s discovery and it cannot be said that it struck upon a mind unprepared for it.”