News / Halifax

Convicted murderer William Sandeson's appeal process slow moving

Sandeson, 25, was convicted earlier this year of first-degree murder in the killing of 22-year-old Taylor Samson.

William Sandeson

Contributed/Nova Scotia Supreme Court

William Sandeson

As he serves his life sentence in prison for first-degree murder, William Sandeson’s appeal process is inching forward.

Sandeson, now 25, was convicted in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in June after a two-month trial, and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

Chris Hansen, spokesperson with the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, said Thursday the court is currently working on transcribing the audio from Sandeson’s trial. That’s expected to be done by the end of March 2018. In the meantime, Hansen said Nova Scotia Legal Aid has to deal with “an outstanding issue about representation.”

On Aug. 1, 2018, there’ll be a status report presented in a teleconference between one of the judges handling the appeal, the Crown and the defence.

At some point after that – it’s too soon to predict when, Hansen said – Sandeson will make his case for an appeal in front of a panel of three judges who would either deny the appeal, or overturn his conviction and grant a new trial.

Before his sentencing hearing in July, Sandeson filed an appeal based on 10 grounds. Among those, Sandeson wrote that trial judge Justice Josh Arnold made incorrect evidence rulings during the trial, the jury rendered an “unreasonable verdict,” and Arnold was wrong to “allow” media to report on previously banned evidence while the jury was sequestered.

In his appeal documents, Sandeson asks the court to set aside his conviction and grant him a new trial for second-degree, not first-degree murder.

After 22 hours of deliberation ending on June 18 of this year, a jury of 12 found Sandeson guilty of first-degree murder in the killing 22-year-old Taylor Samson on Aug. 15, 2015.

Samson was last seen alive on surveillance video that night, walking into Sandeson’s Halifax apartment with a big black duffel bag for what he thought was a drug deal – 20 pounds, or nine kilograms, of marijuana for $40,000.

The jurors saw 100 pieces of evidence, and heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, including two men who were next door to Sandeson’s apartment the night of Aug. 15. They told the jury they heard a gunshot and saw a lifeless, bleeding man slumped over in a chair in Sandeson’s apartment.

Samson’s body was never found.

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