Crown won't appeal acquittal of accused in Tina Fontaine case - 660 CITYNEWS
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Crown won't appeal acquittal of accused in Tina Fontaine case

Last Updated Mar 13, 2018 at 4:31 pm MDT

People listen to speakers during a rally for Tina Fontaine in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday February 24, 2018. A review by Manitoba's children's advocate into the death of Tina Fontaine is almost complete, but may not be made public. The 15-year-old girl's body was found in a Winnipeg river in 2014 after she ran away from child welfare workers, and Indigenous leaders say the public needs to know how the system failed her.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Justice says the Crown will not appeal the acquittal of a man who was accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine.

The Crown says in a statement that only errors in law can be appealed when someone is found not guilty.

“After a critical review … by the Manitoba Prosecution Service’s appeal unit and the Crown attorneys who prosecuted the case, it has been determined there are no grounds to base a successful appeal,” says the statement released Tuesday.

A jury found Raymond Cormier not guilty last month of second-degree murder in the Indigenous girl’s death.

Her body, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks, was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River eight days after she disappeared in August 2014.

The Crown said it had advised Tina’s family of the decision.

Tina was raised by her great-aunt, Thelma Favel, from the Sagkeeng First Nation, 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. The teen left to visit her mother in Winnipeg at the end of June 2014 and became an exploited youth.

Favel called Child and Family Services with concerns about Tina, who ran away repeatedly from a youth shelter and hotels where she was placed.

She was last seen leaving a downtown hotel, where she told a private contract worker employed by child welfare that she was going to a shopping centre to meet friends.

There was no DNA evidence linking Cormier to the teen and doctors who were called to testify at his trial said they could not definitively say how Tina died.

A pathologist testified that her death was suspicious because of the manner in which her body was found.