Murder trial to be set over

Rosie
Rosie Mullaley
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The trial for accused murderer David Ryan won’t go ahead as scheduled today, according to his lawyer.

David Ryan.

Bob Buckingham told The Telegram Monday there are legal issues that have to be addressed first before proceeding.

“I can’t say any more at this time,” Buckingham said, “but we’ll be having discussions with the Crown.”

He said the trial will be rescheduled to start March 13.

Ryan is being retried for the 2005 murder of Richard Brace.

Brace, a 29-year-old man from Green’s Harbour, was found badly beaten at a house on Water Street in Carbonear July 1, 2005. He was declared brain dead and died of a hemorrhage three days later.

Ryan had been found guilty after he represented himself at his first trial in May 2007 and was sentenced to life in jail without the possibility of parole for 16 years.

However, in February 2012, the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial. In making its decision, the appeals panel pointed out that Ryan, a man with limited education, could not fully understand the legalities of the trial and, thus, was unable to conduct a proper defence.

Ryan, who had been in jail since 2005, was released on bail in March 2012 after the appeal court decision.

His second trial is scheduled for four weeks.

Buckingham, whose co-counsel is John Brooks, said there are more than 40 witnesses expected to take the stand at the trial, the majority of which are for the Crown.

Vikas Khaladkar and Mike Murray are handling the prosecution.

Two other people have been sentenced for their involvement in Brace’s murder.

Ashley Wheadon — who instigated the fatal beating — had originally been charged with second-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. She was given a two-year conditional sentence, meaning her term was served in the community.

A teenage male, who was said to have helped Ryan attack Brace, was given a three-year youth sentence.

Their trials revealed that the killing was the chilling climax to a three-week drinking binge.

Ryan and the youth are alleged to have punched and kicked Brace repeatedly as a result of jealousy involving Wheadon, who was Brace’s girlfriend.

She was upset with Brace over accusations of infidelity and encouraged the attack, inciting the men to keep punching Brace.

Brace was found lying in a bedroom by an acquaintance of the group, who had gone to the house the morning after the beating.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelyCourt

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court

Geographic location: Water Street, Carbonear

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