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Couple appeals first-degree murder conviction
Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:50AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 15, 2013 4:44PM MST
The man and woman convicted in the 2009 murder of flea market vendor, Ray Johnson, are appealing their convictions.
Jason Miles Hubler and Tosha Mary Hubler were convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 77-year-old Ray Johnson back in April 2011.
Johnson’s body was discovered in the trunk of a vehicle in an industrial area in Ramsay on Saturday, January 31, 2009.
An autopsy revealed that Johnson died as a result of blunt force trauma.
Police put out an appeal to the public to locate Johnson’s truck and an undercover officer spotted the stolen vehicle travelling down 16 Avenue north a few days later.
The vehicle was eventually pulled over near the Banff Park gates where a man and woman were taken into custody.
Calgary police charged Jason Hubler and Tosha Hubler with one count each of first-degree murder on February 7, 2009.
During the trial court heard how the couple lured Johnson to their home with promises of tools for sale.
Tosha claimed her husband Jason came up with a plan to kill Johnson to steal his truck and said she only took part in the murder because she feared her husband would kill her if she didn’t.
Jason denied the accusation and said that Johnson fell down the stairs.
A jury found the couple guilty of first-degree murder and they were handed an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Jason Hubler’s lawyer, Mary Bremner, stood before a panel of three Justices on Tuesday and argued that the verdict should be overturned because the lengthy and detailed instructions to the jury were not given properly.
“The jurors are completely naive to the law...they may have seen something on television before, but they presume they are as good or better than us. That’s why we must examine the instructions to the jury so carefully. Sometimes they hear what they want to hear, “said Bremner.
Bremner maintains that the jury's instructions were unclear and biased against her client.