Vernon gang members appeal murder convictions

Members of a Vernon criminal organization found guilty for their roles in three North Okanagan deaths are appealing their murder convictions

Members of a Vernon criminal organization found guilty in 2012 for their roles in three North Okanagan deaths are appealing their murder convictions.

The B.C. Court of Appeal confirmed Tuesday that Dale Sipes, Leslie Podolski, Sheldon O’Donnell and Pete Manolakos – members of a gang referred to by police as The Greeks – have filed notices to appeal their respective life sentence convictions.

The quartet along with Douglas Brownell were found guilty in connection with the deaths of David Marnuik, Ronald Thom and Thomas Bryce.

The trial began in May 2011 and was one of the longest jury trials in B.C. law history, involving 25 lawyers and more than 100 Crown witnesses before the jury.

Brownell has not filed an appeal of his conviction.

O’Donnell was found guilty on one count of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder. Sipes was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder, and Podolski was found guilty of one count of first degree murder.

Manolakos was found guilty of one count of first degree murder and one count of manslaughter.

Brownell was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter.

Last week, Vernon-based lawyer William Mastop had his jail sentence extended from one year to two-and-a-half years after a ruling by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Mastop had pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of the same criminal organization.