The Winnipeg Police Service is reporting a significant upgrade in charges against John Elwood Cameron (35) in the Canada Day shooting of Michelle Stobbe (28).
Stobbe was shot on July 1, 2014 at approximately 3:00 in a suite on the 21st floor of the Chateau 100 at 72 Donald Street. Police originally advised the initial investigation revealed Cameron had handled a 9mm handgun, legally registered to him, when Stobbe grabbed at his arm causing the firearm to discharge.
Police now indicate further evidence suggests Stobbe took no part in the discharge of the gun.
After further investigation and consultation with Manitoba Justice the charges against Cameron were upgraded to Second Degree Murder.
Cameron remains at the Provincial Remand Center.
The elevation to 2nd Degree Murder charges is a significant development in this case considering the Police originally charged Cameron with Causing Death by Criminal Negligence.
The original charge suggested Cameron had no intent to kill Stobbe.
The charge of 2nd Degree Murder suggests Cameron had the specific intent to kill her.
Police did not disclose what “new” evidence was discovered that constituted the upgrade in charges.
How Does a Charge Get Upgraded to Murder?
As in most murder cases, the investigation continues long after a suspect is originally charged and detained at the Provincial Remand Center.
Investigative tasks, witness interviews, forensic and pathology reports can take days, weeks and even months to complete.
As the investigation progresses, investigative results must be continually reviewed and assessed.
In this case, Police will have conducted analysis of the following evidence;
- Cameron’s 911 call
- Cameron’s interrogation
- Witness interviews
- Forensic interviews
- Autopsy Results
- Other investigative findings
The original suggestion that Stobbe had grabbed at Cameron’s arm causing the firearm to discharge must have been based on information the Police gleaned from his 911 call or subsequent interrogation. Whatever the case, it’s clear now that evidence exists that refutes that suggestion.
Much can also be learned from autopsy results related to firearm deaths.
Once the Police have gathered supporting evidence they will disclose the investigative findings to a Senior Crown Attorney with Manitoba Justice. If the investigative findings are compelling enough, the Crown will authorize the elevation of charges.
Michelle Stobbe was the eleventh (11th) reported homicide victim in Winnipeg this year.
She was one of two people murdered on Canada Day in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg has recorded twelve (12) homicides so far in 2014.
- 8 victims were stabbed to death
- 3 victims were shot to death
- 1 victim died as a result of suffering blunt force trauma
The WPS Homicide Unit has solved all but two (2) homicides this year.