N.S. judge rejects publication ban in murder trial

SYDNEY, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia judge has refused to impose a publication ban on the first of two trials for a man accused in separate murders of young Cape Breton women.

See Full Article

In February 2013, police in Cape Breton charged Thomas Ted Barrett with second-degree murder in the deaths of Elizabeth MacKinnon and Laura Jessome in cases six years apart.

Both of the victims were 21 years old.

MacKinnon was last seen in early June 2006 and was reported missing on July 13th of that year. On November 21, 2008, local residents found her remains near a hiking trail on the outskirts of Glace Bay.

Jessome was last seen on May 2, 2012, in the New Aberdeen area of Glace Bay. Her remains were discovered May 25 in a hockey bag floating on the Mira River near Marion Bridge.

Barrett, of Glace Bay, was already in custody in Halifax when he was charged.

At the time, the chief of Cape Breton Regional Police said the investigation took police to jurisdictions across the country.

"This is stuff that we read about in other parts of the world," Peter McIsaac said. "It was horrific to our community to learn this kind of stuff."

Barrett's lawyer sought the publication ban because he was concerned media coverage of the first trial could influence jury deliberations in the second.

Judge Robin Gogan, in a decision released Friday, said she sought to balance Barrett's right to a fair trial and the public's right to freedom of expression, including freedom of the press.

Gogan concluded there is some risk to his fair trial, but she said the evidence fails to establish that it is a "real and substantial risk."

She noted the trials are scheduled to begin about nine months apart. His first, by judge alone, is scheduled for Jan. 18, and the second, to be heard by a jury, is set for Sept, 12, 2016.

"Further, I find that any risk created by the publication of the details of the first trial and the proximity to the second trial can be alleviated by the measures available," the decision says.

Gogan said that risk can be reduced at the second trial by the challenge-for-cause process, in which defence and Crown lawyers determine whether potential jurors have formed fixed opinions about the case, and by jury instruction.

A lawyer for the CBC and the Cape Breton Post argued the accused had not provided enough evidence to warrant a ban that would curtail the constitutional rights of the media and the public.

Four other men were also charged in the cases, three of them with being an accessory after the fact.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Myanmar police blame insurgents for the deaths of 28 Hindu women, boys

    World News CTV News
    YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar police said Monday that they have discovered at least 28 slain Hindu women and boys in two mass graves in the Southeast Asian country's conflict-torn northern Rakhine state. The government blames Muslim insurgents for the killings. Source
  • Merkel faces tough task to build Germany government

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is embarking on a complicated quest to form a new government and find answers to the rise of a nationalist, anti-migrant party. Sunday's election in Europe's biggest economy left Merkel's conservative Union bloc weakened after a campaign that focused squarely on Germany's leader of the past 12 years. Source
  • Iraqi Kurds head to polls for independence referendum

    World News CTV News
    IRBIL, Iraq - Polls have opened in Iraq's Kurdish-run provinces and disputed territories as Iraqi Kurds cast ballots in support for independence from Baghdad in a historic but non-binding vote. Millions are expected to vote on Monday across the three provinces that make up the Kurdish autonomous region, as well as residents in disputed territories - areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Source
  • Searchers dig as Mexico City reopens just 1% of schools after earthquake

    World News CBC News
    Search teams are still digging in dangerous piles of rubble hoping against the odds to find survivors at collapsed buildings, while officials say they have so far cleared only 103 of Mexico City's nearly 9,000 schools to reopen Monday. Source
  • Catholic church to investigate cases of children of priests

    World News CTV News
    VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' committee of advisers on protecting children from sexually abusive priests is expanding its workload to include the needs and rights of children fathered by Roman Catholic priests. Committee members told The Associated Press on Sunday that a working group is looking into developing guidelines that can be used by dioceses around the world to ensure that children born to priests are adequately cared for. Source
  • Convicted Craigslist killer appeals death sentence

    World News CTV News
    AKRON, Ohio - A man convicted of killing three down-and-out men lured by bogus Craigslist job offers is appealing his death sentence to Ohio's highest court. The Akron Beacon Journal reports the Ohio Supreme Court will hear the appeal of 58-year-old Richard Beasley Tuesday morning. Source
  • Searchers dig as Mexico City reopens 1 per cent of schools

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Search teams are still digging in dangerous piles of rubble hoping against the odds to find survivors at collapsed buildings, while officials say they have so far cleared only 103 of Mexico City's nearly 9,000 schools to reopen Monday. Source
  • New Zealanders to wait weeks for next leader after election

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealanders will likely need to wait two or three weeks to find out who will next lead their country after a general election on Saturday ended with an inconclusive result. Source
  • Donald Trump replaces travel ban with new restrictions affecting 8 countries

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Citizens of eight countries will face new restrictions on entry to the U.S. under a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday. The new rules, which will impact the citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, will go into effect on October 18. Source
  • RCMP called off pursuit of stolen vehicle 35 minutes before crash that killed 3 Edmonton women

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The RCMP broke off its pursuit of a stolen vehicle that went on to be involved in a crash that killed three women and injured one other near Lloydminster on Friday. Two occupants of the minivan, women aged 35 and 37, were confirmed dead at the scene. Source