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Family of murdered Peace River woman hopes to appeal not guilty verdict

The son of a Peace River woman who was killed in 2019 says he is disappointed with the verdict of a trial earlier this month. Christian Donovan says the family was convinced the suspect Mathew Ian Blachford was guilty of Jennifer Donovan’s death based off of the evidence presented in the trial, however, he wasn’t surprised that he was found not guilty.

“There was so much evidence pointing toward Mr. Blachford but it felt like it was not going in our favour since he was bailed out just after six months. Anyone would think if someone is charged with murder in any degree in any case [they] should stay in jail until they have their day in court,” Donovan argues.

37-year-old Jennifer Donovan was found dead outside of her apartment on October 8, 2019, and an autopsy determined she was been beaten and shot five times in the head and shoulder. Blachford was arrested on January 30, 2020 and charged with second-degree murder.

According to the Edmonton Journal, the Crown did not have any direct evidence that Blachford was Jennifer’s killer. Justice John Henderson said that even though he was in the parking lot of her apartment at the time of her death and blood was found on his pants, there was still reasonable doubt about the killer’s identity.

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Years later, Christian says his family is still grieving their loss. He remembers his mother as kind and loving.

“My mother was a beautiful person. She loved her kids, her mother, and she is going to get her justice. My family will not rest until we can get justice for my mother so she can rest in peace.”

The family is working on appealing the verdict.

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