Home Pastors Former Toronto pastor loses second appeal after pregnant wife drowned in 2011 – Toronto

Former Toronto pastor loses second appeal after pregnant wife drowned in 2011 – Toronto

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A former Toronto pastor has lost an appeal against his manslaughter conviction in the drowning death of his pregnant wife.

The Ontario Court of Appeal also dismissed Philip Grandine’s appeal against the 15-year prison sentence imposed on him in January 2020.

Grandine was released on bail days after being sentenced as he appealed his conviction following his second trial in the case.

His wife, Anna Karissa Grandine, was 20 weeks pregnant when she drowned in the couple’s bathtub in 2011.

Tests later revealed the 29-year-old had lorazepam, a sedative better known by the brand name Ativan, in her blood despite not having been prescribed it. The court heard that she found out her husband had been having an affair.,

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Philip Grandine was originally charged with first degree murder and convicted of manslaughter in 2014, but won a retrial on his first appeal. He was sentenced again in February 2019 and launched another appeal after being sentenced.

The Court of Appeals dismissed Grandine’s conviction and sentence appeals in a decision released on Monday.

In his second appeal, Grandine had raised three grounds against his conviction.

He argued that the trial judge erred in part of her charge to the jury regarding whether he knew his wife had taken the sedative, but that he failed to take steps to ensure his safety.

He also argued that the pre-motion judge erred in refusing to exclude evidence from computer searches, including the word “autopsy”, suggesting it was of little value at his retrial and was “detrimental”.

Grandine further argued that the trial judge gave the jury “inadequate instructions” to use the out-of-court statements he made after the event, if they concluded that those statements were lies.

Appealing his conviction, the former pastor argued, among other things, that the trial judge erred in sentencing him as if he had been convicted of murder and that the sentence was “severe and excessive”.

The Court of Appeal rejected Grandine’s arguments and wrote that there was “no reason to interfere with the sentence”, which was “appropriate and reasonable” in all the circumstances.

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Days before his death, Grandine’s wife suddenly experienced a number of symptoms she could not explain and had to be taken to hospital, Grandine’s trial had heard. She underwent multiple tests but was released because her symptoms subsided, the court heard.

She drowned in the bathtub a few days later, and investigators later tested her blood samples from the hospital, which were later found to contain Ativan.

In handing down his sentence, Superior Court Judge Faye McWatt said Grandine was motivated by greed and ill will towards his wife.

© 2022 The Canadian Press