Marissa Shephard appeals 1st-degree murder conviction for Baylee Wylie's death

A New Brunswick woman sent to prison for killing a teenage friend in Moncton more than two years ago is appealing her first-degree murder conviction.

Shephard, 23, was among 3 people convicted in teen Baylee Wylie's death

Marissa Shephard was one of three people convicted of murder in the death of Baylee Wylie. (RCMP)

A Moncton woman sent to prison for killing a teenage friend more than two years ago is appealing her first-degree murder conviction.

​In May, a jury found Marissa Shephard, 23, guilty of first-degree murder and arson with disregard for human life in the death of Baylee Wylie, 18.

If Shephard's appeal is successful, she wants another trial before a judge and jury, according to the notice of appeal filed with the Court of Queen's Bench. I

Shephard signed the document on June 22, the day of her sentencing, and filed it on June 25.

In the notice, Shephard says Justice Zoël Dionne made an error in law when he allowed into evidence the "hearsay videotaped statement" that Devin Morningstar gave to police after Wylie was found dead in her house.

Morningstar and Shephard were both convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole for at least 25 years. A third person, Tyler Noel, is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 16 years after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

The body of Baylee Wylie was found in a burned-out townhouse on Sumac Street in Moncton. (Submitted)

Shephard also says the judge erred in his charge to the jury on the issues of the lack of cross-examination of Devin Morningstar during her trial, and the "Crown's choice not to cross-examine me."

Firefighters discovered Wylie's body beneath a mattress in Shephard's burned-out townhouse on Dec. 17, 2015.

He had suffered more than 140 "sharp-force injuries" — most of them while he was still alive, the trial heard. 

Morningstar tried earlier to appeal his conviction but lost. 

The Crown had appealed Noel's sentence but dropped the action in February, saying the sentence was "neither illegal, nor the product of error, nor demonstrably unfit."

Refused to testify

At her trial, Shephard testified for more than a day, providing an account of what happened the night Wylie died.

The Crown's cross-examination of Shephard lasted about five minutes. 

Morningstar, meanwhile, refused three times to testify at Shephard's trial.

When he was called to the witness box the third time, Dionne asked him if he'd swear on the Bible, and Morningstar said no. The judge asked him if he'd take a solemn oath, and he said no. Dionne finally asked him if he'd answer questions without swearing or taking an oath and without hesitation, and Morningstar said no.

In the end, the judge allowed into evidence a videotaped interview Morningstar gave to RCMP in which he described  Wylie's last hours in detail.

With files from Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon,,,,,,,,,,