Home Canada Sudbury news: ‘Incompetent’ murder investigation destroyed her life, woman says in $8M lawsuit

Sudbury news: ‘Incompetent’ murder investigation destroyed her life, woman says in $8M lawsuit

by News Desk
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Melissa Sheridan went from being a respected Sudbury businesswoman to a social pariah after being charged with murdering her ex-husband Brant Burke in 2020.

Sheridan filed an $8 million lawsuit against Ontario Police, Wikwemicon Tribal Police, the Ontario government, and others for murdering her ex-husband.

None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court.

In the lawsuit, Sheridan’s attorney accuses police of inciting Blunt’s brother Kelly Burke to suggest that Sheridan was the main instigator of the murders.

Brant’s body was found on a hunting trail in Wikwemicon First Nation on October 25, 2020. He has been missing since his October 19th. An investigation by OPP and his Wikwemikong police found Kerry to be the prime suspect.

It is eventually revealed that Kelly shot his brother twice in the back and left him in a bush. He was arrested on his November 24th and questioned by police for approximately four hours by 1:30 am on November 25th.

According to Sheridan’s lawsuit, police pressured Kelly to name Sheridan as an accomplice.

“Defendants deliberately pressured and coerced Kelly into falsely claiming that Melissa was involved in Brant’s murder.

“The defendant knew, or ought to have known, that Kelly was exhausted, intoxicated, and incapable of making a reliable statement. I crushed my will.”

According to the complaint, police used interrogation techniques designed to encourage suspects to implicate others as principal offenders and minimize their own role in the crime.

One officer told Kelly at one point that if it wasn’t for Sheridan, “I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have killed my brother.”

Despite repeated requests to meet with a lawyer 33 times, police ignored the requests and continued to pressure Kelly to get involved with Sheridan.

When he finally got Sheridan involved, the lawsuit said police should have known the information he provided was fabricated. He claimed to have lost his flip phone, and while he was swiping the phone, it caught fire and exploded.”

The lawsuit accuses police of encouraging Kelly to fabricate details of Sheridan’s involvement and even helping Kelly cover up discrepancies in his story.

“In short, during the four-hour interrogation, these defendants collectively actively encouraged Kelly and hinted at Melissa’s self-help,” the complaint reads.

“They also helped him correct inconsistencies and fill in gaps in the story to make it more compelling. You would have known, and these defendants knew or should have known.”

Sudden withdrawal of charges

Sheridan was arrested on November 25, 2020 and spent six weeks in custody. But she was still under the clouds until the royal family abruptly dropped charges against her in July of this year, citing Kelly’s evidence as unreliable.

The impact left her, her children, and her entire family traumatized for two years, with social media in particular becoming a platform for people to attack her and her family, the lawsuit said.

“As a result, Melissa was ostracized in a community that had previously enjoyed the highest reputation.

“Melissa Sheridan has suffered severe and permanent injury, depression, anxiety, physical and emotional trauma, loss of reputation, stigma, loss of past, present and future income, loss of competitive advantage, etc. suffered loss and damage.”

According to the complaint, the police’s actions were not merely incompetent, but “grossly” violated standards of conduct.

“Plaintiffs allege that Defendants’ conduct was unconscionable, capricious, shocking to their conscience, grossly in violation of their duty to act in the public interest, and recklessly disregarding Ms. Sheridan’s rights. Yes,” the lawsuit said.

It seeks general damages of $2 million, special damages of $2 million, aggravated damages of $2 million, punitive damages, exemplary damages and $2 million under the Family Law Act.

Defendants include OPP, Wikwemicon Police, certain police officers, the Wikwemicon Police Service Board, and OPP Commissioners Thomas Carik and Kelly Burke.

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