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Accused killer has appeal bid dismissed by province’s highest court

The BC Court of Appeal has rejected Stephen Fraser’s argument for a new trial. Fraser was convicted of second-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 11, 2017, death of Cody Foster

A Kamloops man convicted of second-degree murder three years ago has had an appeal dismissed by the BC Court of Appeal, the province’s highest court.

Stephen George Fraser, who is now about 61, was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in 2018 to a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 12 years in connection with the Feb. 11, 2017, stabbing death of 26-year-old Cody Foster.

Fraser appealed the conviction on the grounds Crown counsel prejudiced his right to a fair trial when cross-examining him and submitting to the jury that he tailored his evidence to fit the disclosure he was given of Crown’s forensic reports. He also argued prosecutor Alex Janse inaccurately summarized the forensic evidence in her jury address.

In his written decision, Justice David Frankel ruled the Crown had the right to cross-examine Fraser on whether he had constructed his evidence to fit Crown’s forensic evidence because his testimony in regard to how events unfolded was inconsistent with how he had described those events in a statement to the police.

Frankel added “there was nothing improper in Crown counsel’s jury address” and that in the context of the evidence as a whole, the Crown’s remarks were factually accurate and fair comment.

Foster was found dead in a trailer in an RV park near the BC Wildlife Park in East Kamloops. Fraser claimed at trial to have been acting in self-defence, but failed to sway a jury. Foster sustained multiple stab wounds and lacerations to his face and neck, as well as a broken jaw, broken nose and fractured skull. Neither Foster, nor Fraser, however, sustained any defensive wounds, which indicated an unprovoked attack, Janse argued at trial.

If the appeal had been accepted, it would have warranted Fraser a new trial.

Justices James Fitch and Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten concurred with Justice Frankel’s written decision.