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B.C. man loses appeal in 1983 conviction for murder of toddler cousin

B.C. Court of Appeal rules on historic murder case
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Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)

B.C.’s top court has dismissed the appeal of a Bella Coola First Nation man convicted for the killing of his toddler cousin in the 1980s.

Phillip Tallio was 17 when he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin Delavina Mack, who court has heard had been sexually assaulted in a home in the northern community of Bella Coola.

Nine days into the trial, Tallio pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

Tallio, now 54, has said in court that he wasn’t aware of the implications of the plea agreement his trial lawyer had him sign when he was a teenager.

In 2017, B.C.’s Court of Appeal agreed to hear his case. He was released on bail in 2020, after spending 37 years behind bars.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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About the Author: Ashley Wadhwani-Smith

I began my journalistic journey at Black Press Media as a community reporter in my hometown of Maple Ridge, B.C.
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