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Crown appealing lesser charges in Duperron murder case

Two were acquitted on first-degree murder charges
New Alberta court graphic_HS
The Crown is appealing the sentences of Buddy Ray Underwood and Tyra Muskego, two of the four people convicted in the kidnapping and murder of local woman Nature Duperron. The Crown sought first-degree murder charges for both, and Justice Robert Graesser found them guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter, respectively.

ATHABASCA — The Crown is appealing the charges against two of four people accused in the murder of local woman Nature Duperron. 

In a Nov. 18 media release the Alberta Court of Appeal stated the Crown is appealing the acquittal of Buddy Underwood’s charge of first-degree murder when he was found guilty of the lesser offence of second-degree murder. Similarly, in the case of Tyra Muskego, the Crown is appealing her acquittal on first-degree murder charges after she was found guilty of manslaughter.

Duperron, a mother of three, went missing in April 2019 and was found where she was left by her killers in the woods near Hinton a few days later after the driver of the vehicle which transported her there confessed to his part in her death to police. 

In his Oct. 21 Court of King’s Bench Justice Robert Graessner delivered his decision in a 70-page document finding Underwood guilty of robbery, forcible confinement and second-degree murder and Muskego guilty of robbery, forcible confinement and manslaughter, citing that there was no evidence the crime was planned. 

“It appears to be a situation of a group of drug-intoxicated people driving around with no destination in mind,” he said. 

The two others involved in the killing, Grayson Eashappie and Kala Bajusz, pleaded guilty Sept. 12 in Court of King's Bench to Justice John Little who accepted a plea agreement to second degree murder, reduced from first-degree murder, and the charges of kidnapping and theft were withdrawn. 

A timeline on an appeal decision is unknown.

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