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Sudbury woman's lawyer on murder charge being dropped


Following the stunning development involving a charge against a Sudbury woman accused of her estranged husband's murder, CTV News spoke to the defendant's lawyer at the courthouse Wednesday morning.

Michael Lacy told CTV News on Tuesday the Crown dropped the first-degree murder charge against his client, Melissa Sheridan, because there was no reasonable prospect of getting a conviction after the primary witness was determined to be unreliable.

Sheridan's estranged husband, 56-year-old Brant Burke, was found shot to death Oct. 25, 2020, on a trail in Point Grondine Reserve, part of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory near Killarney.

She and Burke's older brother, Kerry, were both charged with first-degree murder in the case in November 2020.

Kerry Burke, who has been in jail since being charged, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in May and is currently awaiting sentencing.

He was a key witness in the Crown's case against Sheridan.

"We were here for the preliminary inquiry for Melissa Sheridan's case and the Crown called really the only witness who ever implicated her in any kind of wrongdoing, Kerry Burke -- the person who actually murdered his brother and he was testifying," Lacy said.

"We started our cross-examination and it became abundantly clear that he was not a truthful witness. He was a liar, something we have been saying for the past 18 months."

It has been extremely difficult on his client since she was charged, he added.

"Some people might think you should be elated when your first-degree murder charge gets withdrawn, but when your position is 'I never should have been charged in the first place and I have been put through 18 months of misery, 18 months of speculation, 18 months of the public believing that I am guilty of something, it's not exactly a happy day,'" Lacy said.

"I mean, she is glad the matter is over and now she can put this behind her, continue to be the mother to her children, help them grieve their father in the way she wants to do that."

Lacy said the Crown withdrew the charge because there is no evidence to support it and it would be highly abusive if the Crown wanted to reinitiate this prosecution.


CTV Northern Ontario requested an interview with the Crown Attorney's office but our request was declined.

The Ministry of the Attorney General did provide a statement that read in part:

"If the Crown determines at any time that there is no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction, or that it is not in the public interest to proceed, the Crown is duty bound to withdraw the charges." Top Stories

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