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Surrey man's appeal of first-degree murder conviction dismissed

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The first-degree murder conviction of a Surrey dad-of-two who stabbed his wife to death in 2008 will stand, after that his appeal was dismissed this week.

The man killed his wife in their home in Fleetwood on Jan. 15, 2008 and then attempted to take his own life, but failed. She was 50 years old and he was 51 at the time. They had two daughters.

There is a publication ban on any information that would identify the victim or witnesses, including the murderer.

At a hearing last month in the B.C. Court of Appeal, it was alleged the trial judge erred in admitting as evidence hearsay statements the deceased woman had made to her daughter, and relied on that evidence in finding the murder was planned in advance.

During the murder trial in 2009, the court heard that the couple's marriage began deteriorating in 2006. The husband suspected his wife was have an affair and started recording their telephone conversations.

On the day of the murder, he drove their youngest daughter to school and went home, where he had an argument with his wife.

He then got a large knife from a crawl space where he'd hidden it and returned to the bedroom where his wife was laying on the bed. He stabbed her several times, killing her.

The man then went to the bank and got numerous items from a safety deposit box. At home, he spread documents across the kitchen counter, including wills, a mortgage, a document called "the Real Truth" and two letters addressed to his daughters. There were also six CDs of intercepted phone calls between his wife and her male friend.

He picked his daughter up from school and took her to a relative's house and then went home and ingested a mixture of sleeping pills, alcohol and insecticide. When he didn't pick up his daughter later, relatives went to the home and found a note on the bedroom door: "Please don't open this door. Please call police. Call 911. We are both dead inside. I have killed A. and myself."

The three appeal court justices agreed the evidence during trial of planning and deliberation was "overwhelming."

There were not only numerous incriminating statements in the documents he left, saying he had warned his wife he would kill her, but his conduct was not impulsive.

His "highly organized activities after the murder demonstrated that he was engaged in carrying out a plan," wrote Chief Justice Lance Finch in dismissing the appeal.

"Rather, as (the trial judge) found, the actions were manipulative and indicative of an individual in the process of carrying out a plan to kill both his wife and himself."

First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance to apply for parole for 25 years.

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