Travis Vader’s two second-degree murder convictions have been swapped for manslaughter.
His application for a mistrial was heard in an Edmonton courtroom Monday.
In September, Justice Denny Thomas found Vader guilty of second-degree murder in the 2010 deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann, who disappeared while on a road trip. Their burned out motorhome was discovered a few days later, but their bodies have not been found.
Thomas used a section of the Criminal Code that had been ruled unconstitutional to find Vader guilty, prompting the defense to call for a mistrial.
During the mistrial arguments Thomas said that going ahead with sentencing Vader on two counts of second-degree murder would be off the table.
The crown argued it was an easy fix, as the charge of manslaughter had already been found in last month’s decision, saying the court could correct the error.
The defense felt the opposite, saying there was no remedy to fix the problem, other than a mistrial.
Brett McCann, the couple’s son, spoke to Global News and said he understands why the judge had to change his decision for second-degree murder and he’s relieved it didn’t have to go to a retrial.
“Overall, I guess I must say that me and my family are pleased with this decision today and we’re comfortable that justice is being served,” said McCann.
McCann said he heard that the defense may be launching an appeal, but he’s more interested in Vader’s future.
“You know, his sentence and his any sort of future parole considerations would need to recognize his total lack of remorse, like the lives, like, where are the bodies of my parents?”
Vader’s sentencing hearing is scheduled from Dec. 12-16.
(With files from Global News)(djs, sk, kdr, bw)