Betsy Powell, TorontoStar

Betsy Powell

TorontoStar

Toronto, ON, Canada

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Recent:
  • TorontoStar
Past:
  • Hamilton Spectator
  • YorkRegion
  • WR Record
  • Brampton Guardian
  • Simcoe.com
  • The Mississauga News

Recent articles by Betsy:

Ex-Toronto pastor will go to prison for manslaughter in ‘diabolical’ drowning of pregnant wife, appeal court rules

The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld Philip Grandine’s 2019 manslaughter conviction and sentence, sending him back to prison to serve out his 15-year sentence. → Read More

Canadians are glued to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s trial. Is it time to let live TV into our own courts?

A “staggering” number of Canadians are gripped to live video of Johnny Depp’s defamation battle with Amber Heard. But it couldn’t happen here. → Read More

‘We’ve got a difficult situation here’: A racially divided Toronto murder verdict highlights problems with Ontario juries, lawyers say

The jury was unanimous on the two Black accused — both guilty — but deadlocked on the sole white defendant. Whether that was because of a “racist” juror or not, the case is an example of how Ontario juries have become less, not more representative, defence lawyers tell the Star. → Read More

No evidence drive-by shooting of five men near Scarborough mosque was hate-motivated, police say

“We have not uncovered any evidence to date to suggest the victims were targeted because they were Muslim,” Toronto police Staff Supt. Lauren Pogue said Friday. “I hope that this provides some comfort to the community.” → Read More

Scarborough writer nabs top prize in Toronto Star Short Story Contest with tale of chance meeting between two strangers

Winners of the 44th annual Toronto Star Short Story Contest winners were announced Tuesday night. Freelance journalist and fiction writer Nina Dragicevic captured the top prize for her story “Youth.” Dragicevic also won the contest in 2017. → Read More

Man found guilty of first-degree murder in 2017 death of Hamilton man who was shot while sitting in a parked car

Akil Whyte was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the fatal shooting of Leonard Pinnock, a Hamilton father. → Read More

Law Society says it has contacted suspected bar-exam cheaters

The Law Society of Ontario said Wednesday it has notified individuals suspected of cheating that they are under investigation. But the regulatory body offered few details on how many lawyer candidates have been contacted and whether any are already licensed to practise law. → Read More

Ex-U.S. military technician claims ‘devastating’ Niagara police assault cost him his career

Wheatley Phelps testified this week about how he left Niagara Falls, Ont., for a distinguished career in the U.S. military, only to have it ended after he claims he was assaulted and unlawfully arrested by Niagara Regional Police officers. Niagara police deny the allegations, contained in a $2 million lawsuit. → Read More

Confession or slip of the tongue? Key witness testifies he was in the driver’s seat — and then recants

A trial in the death of 44-year-old Richmond Hill father Peyman Masoomi Fard was thrown off this week after a key Crown witness momentarily contradicted his claim another man was driving — “I guess I was tired,” he clarified Wednesday. → Read More

‘It’s time to put this behind us’: Yonge Street van attack victims fed up with sentencing delays

Murderer Alek Minassian will be sentenced on only one of his 10 murder convictions at a June hearing. On the others, the prosecution is waiting for a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on how judges can determine parole eligibility in cases involving multiple murders. → Read More

Teen avoids jail in 100 km/h crash that killed kids playing in Vaughan driveway

The maximum posted speed on Athabasca Drive where Anaya Chaudhari, 10, and Jax Chaudhari, 4, were killed last year is 40 km/h. → Read More

‘High-risk’ man found not criminally responsible in downtown Toronto killing of ‘good-hearted, honourable man’

Victim Ted Sharron’s family say they are relieved Jason Hadfield has been declared “high-risk,” but not that he is going to a psychiatric facility instead of prison. → Read More

Former Mississauga MP gets conditional sentence for false bankruptcy filing

Former Mississauga-Streetsville MP Wajid Ali Khan had previously been charged with fraud. Those charges were withdrawn Thursday. → Read More

Appeal court tosses Ontario robbery convictions, says Crown overcharging led to ‘confusing’ jury instructions

The two men convicted in the London, Ont., incident were tried on 14 separate criminal charges, turning a fairly simple case into a “confusing morass,” said Toronto defence lawyer Chris Rudnicki. → Read More

Law society must crack down on misleading legal ads — or let someone do it, Ontario lawyers say

Misleading advertising in the Ontario personal injury bar is a problem that deserves more than fines and reprimands, senior lawyers say. → Read More

GTA pair guilty in first-degree murder of Matthew Arcara, not guilty in killing of his dog

Brandon Hudson and Arjuna Paramsothy killed Matthew Arcara, 22, expecting to pull off a “lucrative” robbery of his downtown Toronto condo, the judge found. → Read More

Toronto lawyer Jeremy Diamond deserves more than a reprimand, tribunal rules

A reprimand for Diamond’s misleading advertising “is so lenient... that a reasonable and informed person would be concerned that the regulation of legal professions does not take honesty and integrity seriously,” the tribunal panel wrote. → Read More

Why an investigation into cheating on Ontario bar exams may point to a $15 billion online industry

Hundreds of prospective Ontario lawyers have had their futures put on hold amid an investigation into cheating on the online bar admission exams — no surprise in the lucrative world of “contract cheating,” experts say. → Read More

‘I do them every day’: Defence lawyers say Ontario police are abusing the Cannabis Control Act to conduct unlawful searches

The law gives police sweeping power to conduct a warrantless search of a stopped vehicle if they have reasonable grounds to suspect cannabis is not packed in closed bag or is readily available to occupants. → Read More

Citing ‘thought-provoking’ anti-vax sources, Ontario judge rules couple’s kids should not be vaccinated

In a lengthy ruling, Justice Alex Pazaratz refers to several discredited sources of anti-vax misinformation as “actually more informative and more thought-provoking” than those filed by a Hamilton father who is seeking to vaccinate his children. → Read More