BRANTFORD —The Six Nations man convicted in the 2008 death of Tashina General and her unborn baby, known as Tucker, walked away a free man from a Brantford courtroom Monday.
Kent Owen Hill was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old General in 2011, but the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Squire-Hill after quashing his conviction last year.
Squire-Hill’s appeal against his conviction was based on the fact that the trial judge had erred at the time in instructing the jury on the definition of intent and the defence of provocation. He also argued that the Crown attorney’s had improperly cross-examined him on his statement to police.
The Ontario Court of Appeals ruled that there was no merit in the cross-examination argument, however they did find merit in his other points of appeal and awarded the new trial.
A judge said Hill served over eight years in custody – totalling the equivalent of 15 years in jail — 1.5 days granted for every pre-trial day of incarceration since his original arrest in 2008.
In the first trial Hill was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.
This time, Hill was sentenced to time served.
Tashina was reported missing to police in January 2008 – prompting a massive search across Ontario. Her remains were discovered four months later in a shallow grave behind Hill’s parents home on Six Nations.
Hill confessed to strangling Tashina and covering up her death. Court proceedings revealed Hill was in a physical relationship with Tashina during which she became pregnant. The child was revealed through genetic testing to be Hill’s son.
Courts heard Hill wrote a letter to General’s mother, pretending to be Tashina, and saying she was leaving town.
Hill was arrested in April 2008 in a North Bay hotel room and has been in prison since that time.
General’s family and loved ones gave emotional victim impact statements to Hill at Monday’s sentencing.
Her family continue to work through their grief and uphold her memory through their work honouring Tashina, Tucker, and the rest of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada.