Were they wrongfully convicted of murder? — (PeterWarren.ca)

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PeterWarren.ca

Jeff Rud Times Colonist

Monday, March 31, 2008

Former radio host takes up the cause of three men currently behind bars

Now a “freelance investigative journalist” living in Victoria, Warren is focusing his efforts on three cases, each one a man convicted of murdering his wife. Two of those cases have distinct ties to Vancouver Island.

Warren appeared last week at the University of Victoria delivering a lecture entitled “Were They Wrongfully Convicted of Murder?”

His presentation included appearances by family and others close to the three men who all remain incarcerated.

“These three cases, they beg for review,” Warren said yesterday.

The former high-profile host of Action Line in Winnipeg and the ensuing Warren on the Weekend nationally syndicated show said he narrowed down a potential list of 20 cases to these three.

“I did cull this down to the three that I really think are wrongly convicted.”

Those include Michael Tate, convicted of first-degree murder in the 2000 pickaxe death of his wife, Tammy Miller, in their Central Saanich home; and Kelvin Purdy, convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing his estranged wife, Denise Purdy, at a Nanaimo bus stop in 2003.

Tate is serving a 25-year sentence with no parole at Mountain Institution.

The B.C. Court of Appeal unanimously denied his appeal in 2002.

Warren said Tate had quit taking Zoloft, an antidepressant, “cold-turkey” just days before what the defence claimed in court was a botched murder-suicide attempt by the couple. Warren believes that factor wasn’t properly taken into account.

John Tate, Michael’s father, has recently self-published a book about what he claims was his son’s wrongful conviction. He sent a copy of that book to Warren.

In an interview, he said he is now hopeful that Warren can shine a spotlight on the case. “That’s what we’re trying to do right now is expose it,” Tate said. “He’s got the clout. Nobody knows John Tate but many, many people know of Peter Warren.”