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Accused in Halifax homicide parts ways with lawyer

A Halifax Regional Police officer stands in the entry of 5578 Morris Street on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Police blocked the street between Queen and Birmingham while they deal with a weapons call.
An officer stands in the entry of 5578 Morris Street in Halifax on Dec. 8 after police responded to a weapons call at the apartment building. James Alfred MacLean, 70. was arrested six days later and charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Donald Scott McKay, 61. - Tim Krochak

A 70-year-old Halifax man accused of second-degree murder is looking for a new lawyer.

James Alfred MacLean is charged in the Dec. 8 death of Donald Scott McKay, 61, after an altercation involving a weapon at the Morris Street apartment building where they lived.

A man with blood dripping off his hands walked into a convenience store on nearby Clyde Street at about 3 p.m. that day and allegedly asked the owner to call police because he had just killed a man.

The man, who was a regular customer of the store, left the business before Halifax Regional Police arrived. The storekeeper walked officers to the apartment building, where they discovered McKay and MacLean inside with injuries.

Both men were transported to hospital, where McKay died. MacLean was arrested Dec. 14 and charged with murder.

Dates for a preliminary inquiry were expected to be set Monday, when MacLean appeared in Halifax provincial court by video from jail, but Judge Amy Sakalauskas was informed he had parted ways with Truro new lawyer Malcolm Jeffcock.

Nova Scotia Legal Aid lawyer Brian Warcop advised the court the commission will likely issue MacLean a new certificate within a couple of weeks so he can retain another private lawyer.

Crown attorney Alicia Kennedy said there was no sense scheduling a preliminary inquiry until MacLean has new counsel.
 
The case will be back in court in early April.

MacLean has not applied for bail. He's in custody at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth.

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