Nunavut appeal court rejects Kimmirut cop-killer’s bid for re-trial
Pingoatuk Kolola to serve out life sentence
A Kimmirut man convicted in 2010 of murdering an RCMP officer in 2007 will not be granted a retrial.
Pingoatuk Kolola was convicted of first-degree murder in 2010, in a jury trial held in Iqaluit, for killing 20-year-old Cst. Douglas Scott while the officer was on duty.
Three appeal judges heard from defence lawyer Tom Boyd Sept. 24 at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.
Boyd’s main argument was that the trial judge erred by not giving proper instructions to the jury.
In a written statement, however, Justices Frans Slatter, Constance Hunt, and Clifton O’Brien rejected the appeal.
Boyd argued that the trial judge, Justice Robert Kilpatrick, erred in law by implying to jurors that it is their duty to place the burden on the accused to prove his innocence.
Boyd also argued that the trial judge erred by not going over one of the three main factors the jury should have considered before sentencing Kolola: that if the jury does not believe the Crown’s evidence, then the accused must be found not guilty.
And Boyd argued that Kilpatrick erred when not specifying that the jury must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.
The appeal judges wrote that the jury “could not have been under any misapprehension about the Crown’s duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt when the jury charge is read as a whole.”
The judges also said the other two grounds cited by the defense have no merit and dismissed them.
Kolola was sentenced to life imprisonment 2010 with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
On Nov. 7, 2007, Kolola became drunk and angry after getting into an argument with his common-law spouse because she wanted to evict Kolola.
After telling her to leave the home, Kolola grabbed a Remington .30-06 rifle and his baby son, and drove off in a truck.
Kolola then drove into a stack of lumber close to a local arena when Scott arrived in an RCMP vehicle.
Kolola stepped out of the truck and fired his rifle. The bullet struck Scott in the head, killing him instantly.
A special weapons and tactics team from Iqaluit apprehended Kolola at 3 a.m. later that night.
Kilpatrick described the murder as a “senseless, tragic” act after the trial had been concluded.
“The human damage caused by this crime is incalculable,” Kilpatrick said.