Ontario court overturns Hamilton man’s HIV murder convictions, substitutes manslaughter verdicts
Published January 10, 2023 at 1:02 pm
Ontario’s top court has overturned two first-degree murder convictions in the case of a man who did not disclose his HIV-positive status to sexual partners, though he remains a dangerous offender.
Hamilton man Johnson Aziga was convicted in 2009 of the two counts of murder – believed to be the first convictions of their kind in Canada at the time – as well as 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of attempted aggravated sexual assault.
The court later declared Aziga a dangerous offender, which comes with an indefinite sentence.
Aziga appealed his convictions and sentence, and in a decision released today, the Court of Appeal for Ontario overturned the murder convictions and substituted them with two manslaughter verdicts, and set aside two aggravated assault convictions.
The Crown had conceded that the murder convictions should be overturned because of incorrect jury instructions by the trial judge.
The three-judge Appeal Court panel wrote in its decision that the dangerous offender designation should stand, and that Aziga’s sentences for manslaughter should still be life because of the gravity of his offences.
The Canadian Pressinsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising