‘Issue’ causes delay in Crockwell trial

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Rosie Mullaley
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Reason for postponement can’t be reported

Leo Crockwell (front) and defence lawyer Ken Mahoney were back at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s for Crockwell’s trial Thursday morning. The trial was postponed in the morning and is expected to resume today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Proceedings in the Leo Crockwell trial came to an abrupt halt early Thursday when an issue arose.

Just what the issue is remains to be seen because it is banned from publication by Justice Richard LeBlanc.

When the trial resumed Thursday morning, discussions were held without the jury present for more than an hour. When jury members finally returned to Courtroom No. 2. in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s, LeBlanc told them, “an issue has arisen. I can’t say much more than that.”

He then reminded them to refrain from consulting media reports or discussing the case with anyone.

The trial is expected to continue this morning.

Crockwell, 57, has been behind bars since December 2010, after he barricaded himself inside his mother’s Bay Bulls home with firearms.

He pleaded not guilty to several charges, including assault with a weapon and uttering threats towards his sister, along with several firearm charges that allege he shot at police during the standoff.

Charges of attempted murder were withdrawn by the Crown.

The case was held up several times over the last year, mainly because of Crockwell’s issues with lawyers.

Ken Mahoney is Crockwell’s third lawyer.

Rosellen Sullivan represented him first, followed by Bob Buckingham. Both lawyers withdrew due to irreconcilable differences with Crockwell.

The jury of eight women and four men hearing the case is the second jury to have been selected.

A jury had been chosen in February, but members were dismissed after the trial was pushed back when Crockwell hired Buckingham.

In the meantime, St. John’s lawyer Randy Piercey — who was appointed amicus, or mediator — is still on the case.

Piercey wasn’t in court Thursday, as he was handling another trial in provincial court. He’s expected to be back at the Crockwell trial today.

Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Ivany has been swift in getting through the dozens of witnesses slated to take the stand.

In four days of testimony, a total of 14 witnesses have taken the stand.

RCMP Cpl. Shawn Puddester, who testified Tuesday, is scheduled to be cross-examined when proceedings resume.

 

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Bay Bulls

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