A woman serving a life sentence for her role in the beating death of a Vancouver teenager has been denied an application to be released on bail while she appeals her conviction.
Katherine Quinn, 26, has already served two years in the murder of 16-year-old Matthew Martins, who was killed outside Surrey Central SkyTrain Station in 2005.
She was applying for bail in part so she could take care of her sick mother.
Martins’ mother Sandra Martins-Toner, who turned 38 yesterday, clutched her husband and sobbed as the judge rendered her decision in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
“Thank God,” she cried. “This is the best birthday present I could ever ask for.”
Quinn and her boyfriend Robert Forslund, 30, were both sentenced to second-degree murder, he for administering the fatal blows and she for encouraging him.
According to witnesses, Quinn told Forslund, “If you love me, you’ll kill him.”
But Quinn’s lawyer argued on Tuesday that she played no actual role in the murder.
“Depending on which witness you believe, it amounts to words uttered at a scene of a beating that was already underway,” he said, calling the attack a “spontaneous” Saturday night fight between drunken teenagers.
But Crown counsel Mary Ainslie said it would undermine public confidence in the judicial system to release a convicted killer on bail before a judge has decided whether she deserves a new trial.
“If a new trial is ordered then we go back to the presumption of innocence,” Ainslie said.
In her reasons for denying bail, Justice Mary Newbury noted that Quinn has shown no remorse and says she wants to get back together with Forslund after they are released.
“She has had a terrible temper, lacks insight into her own personality (and) does not have a family background that will (help her) turn her life in the right direction,” Newbury said.
Martins’ parents said they were “elated” with the verdict but added that the appeal was a waste of the public’s time and money.
“There’s no reason why families should be put through this again and again,” said Martins-Toner.