Murder suspect should not contact witnesses: lawyer

Defence is opposed, saying many of those on the list are man’s relatives

Derek Montague
Published on July 4, 2013

Gordon Raymond Milley made his second Provincial Court appearance in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Wednesday morning.

The 30-year-old Sheshatshiu man was charged last month in the death of 21-year-old Bernice Rich of Natuashish. Her body was found in a wooded area in Sheshatshiu on June 14.

In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Milley also faces a charge of sexual assault and three others charges, including breach of recognizance and public mischief.

After an hourlong wait for an interpreter from Sheshatshiu to assist Milley in court, Crown prosecutor John Noseworthy argued that since Milley is being held in custody in St. John’s, it would make more sense for Milley to appear via video for future court dates.

“It would take a lot of effort to transport an individual here by plane ... (and) given that his (legal) counsel is in St. John’s anyway,” Noseworthy said.

Through his interpreter, Milley said he would rather make personal appearances for his court dates in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Noseworthy also asked that Milley be prohibited from communicating with witnesses in the case.

“The matter is still under investigation and there’s potential safety concerns, as well, given the nature of these charges,” said Noseworthy.

“I have prepared a list of names (for Milley not to contact). I understand (the defence) opposed to the no-contact application. But all I can say is … I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request.”

Neither of Milley’s two lawyers from St. John’s could attend the hearing. Stacey Ryan, an attorney in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, said one of Milley’s lawyers, Derek Hogan, had sent a message opposing the no-contact application, as “most of the people (on the list) … are (Milley’s) family.”

Judge John L. Joy did not rule on the Crown’s applications, noting Milley’s defence counsel was given short notice of them.

Milley will be back in provincial court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on July 24 at 1:30 p.m.

The Labradorian