Convicted Fort Good Hope murderer wants free lawyer for appeal

A judge in Yellowknife is to give her decision on December 17th as to whether a convicted murderer from Fort Good Hope should get a court-appointed, taxpayer-funded lawyer for his appeal.

22-year-old Keenan McNeely is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for at least ten years for killing and sexually assaulting Charlotte Lafferty, a young mother from Fort Good Hope in March of 2014.

McNeely was in court Monday, without a lawyer, arguing that the Crown should appoint one for him as he appeals the decision to sentence him as an adult.

He has been denied a legal aid lawyer.

McNeely was just over a month shy of his 18th birthday when he commtted the brutal murder.

He explained to the judge Monday that he has no financial means to pay for a lawyer himself and added he doesn’t know enough about the law to appeal his sentence on his own.

He says factors such as his troubled upbringing were not properly taken into account when he was sentenced.

McNeely was sentenced as an adullt in 2017 and the publication ban was lifted on his name.

The Crown argues it should not have to provide a lawyer for McNeely because there is no basis or merit to his appeal.

McNeely is serving his time at the maximum security Edmonton Institution.

He is also appealing to serve the remainder of his sentence here in the North.


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