Lawyer looks to halt case against man involved in standoff

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
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Leo Crockwell — File photo

The lawyer for a man charged in connection with a standoff with police in Bay Bulls last year will seek to have the case against her client halted.

When the case of Leo Crockwell was called in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s Monday, Rosellen Sullivan told the judge she will file a pre-trial application to request a stay of proceedings.

If successful, it would mean proceedings against Crockwell would cease, although the Crown would have up to a year to revisit the case.

Deals with Charter

When questioned by The Telegram after Monday’s proceedings, Sullivan wouldn’t give details about the grounds of her application, but said it has to do with how the police handled the incident in Bay Bulls.

“It’s an independent issue that needs to be heard prior to the trial,” said Sullivan, adding that the application deals with Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“It needs to be addressed, how things unfolded.”

Crockwell — who was not in court for Monday’s proceedings — was arrested in December 2010 after he barricaded himself inside his mother’s Bay Bulls home for nine days. The house was surrounded by RCMP officers, but the 56-year-old managed to slip out undetected. He was picked up shortly afterwards by RNC officers a few kilometres away.

When he was first brought to court, Crockwell was denied bail. He remains in custody.

He was initially charged with several counts of attempted murder, since he allegedly fired a shotgun during the standoff, but those charges were eventually withdrawn by the Crown.

He is charged with discharging a firearm, mischief, using a firearm in the commission of an offence, careless use of a firearm and unauthorized possession of a firearm, uttering threats, assault, and assault with a weapon in relation to the standoff.

Crockwell also faces charges of uttering threats, assault and assault with a weapon, relating to an incident that allegedly involved his sister hours before the standoff.

His trial on those eight charges is set to begin Feb. 2 and is expected to last six weeks.

When Crockwell’s case was last called in court two weeks ago, Sullivan told the judge she would seek permission from the court to see a police file on her client from more than a decade ago.

Sullivan had planned to file an O’Connor (or third-party) application to obtain details of an incident involving Crockwell and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in 1998, when Crockwell was reportedly wrongfully detained at the Waterford Hospital for 140 days.

However, on Monday, Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Ivany told Justice Maureen Dunn the issue regarding that application has been resolved.

Sullivan later told The Telegram  she received the information she was looking for.

Lawyers will discuss the issue of the stay of proceedings Sept. 28. The case is due back in court Oct. 3.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Rights, RCMP, Waterford Hospital

Geographic location: Bay Bulls, Canada

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Recent comments

  • broadpowers
    September 20, 2011 - 02:42

    I hope the lawyer is successful in getting a stay of proceedings. Leo Crockwell was unlawfully arrested under the NL Mental Health Act in 1998. The police brought this on themselves. How many others have been unlawfully arrested under MHA's in Canada, only to have their names tarnished by police with MHA on police file. Last week we saw Ontario residents being denied entry to the USA because of mental health incidents involving police, which may have been caused by mis-information. Let Leo go. if I was leo I would sue the police for 1998.

  • Ben Franklin
    September 13, 2011 - 11:34

    The Crown and police should be ashamed of themselves! The RCMP are a bunch of cowboys, and needed the RNC to get the job done in the end. Charge the cops who flooded Leo's Mom's basement!

  • Phoebe Tilley
    September 13, 2011 - 10:36

    Just curious aftyer they flushed his house out with water long after he left are there any repairs done to the mans home?

  • Alice O'Rielly-Tobin
    September 13, 2011 - 07:23

    I hope Ms. Sullivan is successful in obtaining the stay of proceedings against Mr. Crockwell. I don't think that this man should be charged with anything in lieu of the way the whole incident was handled by the police!! I think that the police and court could spend their time wisely by charging real criminals and real murderers!!!!

    • Mary
      September 13, 2011 - 12:46

      I'm wondering why he was unlawfully detained @ the Waterford for 140 days,why didn't the psychiatrists check him out, send him home if it was unlawful to detain him? Also , I'm wondering, who's responsible for his house repairs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!