Off-duty cop found guilty of assaulting Dafonte Miller seeks to overturn conviction

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TORONTO — Lawyers for an off-duty Toronto police officer found guilty in a brutal assault on a young man argue the conviction was unreasonable and should be thrown out.

Toronto police Const. Michael Theriault is appealing his assault conviction in the December 2016 incident that left Dafonte Miller with serious injuries.

His lawyers allege the judge who oversaw the trial made several errors and are asking the appeal court to enter an acquittal or order a new trial.

Should the court uphold the conviction, they are also seeking to challenge Theriault’s nine-month jail sentence, arguing it is outside the normal range and fails to take into account certain mitigating factors.

The defence appeal is being heard by videoconference today, while an appeal filed by the Crown is set to be heard Thursday.

Prosecutors are challenging Theriault’s acquittal on the more serious charge of aggravated assault and a charge of obstruct justice.

They are also appealing the acquittal of Theriault’s brother, Christian Theriault, on both those charges.