Convicted killer Kevin Mantla appealing conviction, sentence

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Kevin Mantla, a Gameti man sentenced to life in prison for carrying out a deadly 2015 stabbing, is appealing his conviction and sentence.

I was never given a fair trial,” wrote Mantla in a handwritten application, dated Nov. 15, 2018, sent to the Court of Appeal of the Northwest Territories.

Mantla was convicted in May of second-degree murder and attempted murder following a judge alone trial.

Mantla entered a Lanky Court apartment unit in the early hours of Sept. 28, 2015, where he fatally stabbed Elvis Lafferty and seriously wounded Lafferty’s girlfriend, Mantla’s former common-law partner.

Calling the act the “ultimate form of domestic violence,” Justice Louise Charbonneau sentenced Mantla to life with no chance of parole for 20 years.

He’s now moving to appeal that sentence, and his conviction, on the grounds he was “set up” by his lawyers and Crown prosecutors, court records show.

The lawyers that were given to me by Legal Aid were a team with the Crown behind closed doors,” Mantla wrote.

Mantla went on to write that one of his lawyers “admitted” to withholding information related to his case after confronting him about not calling a particular witness.

Mantla must submit paperwork in March in order to move the appeal process forward.

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.

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