Lovers guilty of first degree murder in death of former U of T clerk
|Toronto Star 03 Jun 2018 at 08:51|
Allan Lanteigne, 49, was bludgeoned to death on March 2, 2011 in the foyer of his Ossington Ave. home. No murder weapon was found. (Toronto Police / Handout)
The Crown alleged Ivezic and Papasotiriou-Lanteigne conspired to murder the latter’s spouse , Allan Lanteigne. He was bludgeoned to death on March 2, 2011 in the foyer of his Ossington Ave. home. No murder weapon was found.
Accused denies he beat his lover’s husband to death
Ivezic, 57, and Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, 38, were having an affair and the prosecution alleged the pair wanted access to the victim’s $2 million life insurance policy so they could build a life together in Greece.
During his charge to the jury, Superior Court Justice Robert Goldstein told jurors they could convict both men of first-degree murder, but if they had reasonable doubt that Ivezic beat Lanteigne to death they would also have to acquit Papasotiriou-Lanteigne.
Ivezic, who had a wife and three children in Mississauga, claimed he was at the family’s home when the attack occurred. Papasotiriou-Lanteigne was living in Greece, relying on Lanteigne as his primary means of financial support. Lanteigne, was a University of Toronto accounting clerk who also worked in catering. Papasotiriou-Lanteigne owned the Ossington Ave. home along with this aunt and uncle.
In 2014, an Ontario Court judge discharged Papasotiriou-Lanteigne finding there was not enough evidence to convict him. However, the Ministry of the Attorney General signed a preferred indictment that reinstated the first-degree murder charge.
Toward the end of the trial, Gabriel Gross-Stein asked Goldstein to consider a directed verdict, arguing the Crown had failed to prove its case. Goldstein dismissed the request.
The trial, which began last November, ran several months longer than expected, in part, because Ivezic fired his lawyer halfway through the trial and represented himself.
Ivezic tried to push the theory that he had been framed and that Lanteigne was promiscuous and that there were other suspects.
Goldstein gave repeated instructions to Ivezic not to put irrelevant details before the jury.
The crux of the case was DNA found under the fingernails of Lanteigne’s right hand. Ivezic did not deny it was his.
But for months leading up to and during part of the trial, Ivezic argued his DNA was planted or that it got there as a result of “innocent transfer.”
The Crown’s witness, a forensic biologist, testified Ivezic’s DNA did not get there through “casual contact,” such as a handshake, but as the result of “close, physical contact.”
Ivezic cross examined the witness for six gruelling days, prompting him to apologize to the jury for subjecting them to the “DNA misery” during his opening statement.
Ivezic floated various scenarios for the DNA, suggesting he and Lanteigne had touched the same surface. He also testified that he was friends with his lover’s husband, and that the transfer may have happened when the two shared a fast-food lunch together days before the murder.
The Crown said there was no evidence Ivezic was friends with the deceased and that the lunch did not happen.
Michael Ivezic has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Allan Lanteigne.
During a hearing about legal representation a year ago, Ivezic testified Lanteigne had popped a pimple on his nose over their lunch, and that that was how his DNA might have been transferred.
Testifying in his own defence in front of the jury, Ivezic made no mention of the alleged pimple popping incident.
For years leading up to the long-delayed jury trial, the two men challenged every aspect of the case, including allegations the Crown hid disclosure, tampered with police records and evidence, lied to the defence and the court and colluded with police.
Justice Ian Nordheimer, who case-managed the prosecution, found no evidence to support the allegations. Goldstein took over when Nordheimer was elevated to the Court of Appeal.
More than a dozen defence lawyers appeared on behalf of the accused men, who were also represented by court-appointed lawyers, known as amicus, at times when they were without counsel.