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

  • Lightning sparks fires across southeastern B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    CASTLEGAR, B.C. -- Lightning storms across southeastern British Columbia have sparked numerous wildfires. BC Wildfire Service personnel are at two separate fires burning just a few kilometres on either side of the village of Nakusp. Source
  • Scientists may have discovered a mysterious Mars-sized planet

    World News Toronto Sun
    A mysterious celestial body may be lurking in the frozen, far-flung reaches of the solar system, scientists say. This is not the proposed "Planet Nine," a ginormous body that Caltech scientists believe could be tugging at the orbits of the solar system's most distant inhabitants. Source
  • 3 Chicago police officers indicted in Laquan McDonald case

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- Three Chicago police officers were indicted Tuesday on felony charges that they conspired to cover up the actions of a white police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, saying the officers lied when they alleged the teenager "aggressively" swung a knife at officers and attempted to get up from the ground still armed with the knife after he was shot. Source
  • U.S. woman jailed for giving woman in labour heroin

    World News CTV News
    FILE - This booking photo released Wednesday, March 8, 2017, by the Concord, N.H., Police Department shows Felicia Farruggia, arrested about six months after she had demanded to be injected with heroin and methamphetamine while in labor with her son in September 2016. Source
  • New cyberattack causes mass disruption in Europe, slowly moves into U.S. [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    PARIS — A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe, hitting Ukraine especially hard. Company and government officials reported serious intrusions at the Ukrainian power grid, banks and government offices, where one senior official posted a photo of a darkened computer screen and the words, “the whole network is down. Source
  • Ontario spending $85M to clean up mercury in First Nations

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Ontario is spending an additional $85 million to clean up a mercury-contaminated river that has plagued two First Nation communities for half a century. Environment Minister Glen Murray says the funds for the remediation of the English-Wabigoon River system in northwestern Ontario will be used to design and implement the cleanup, and for long-term monitoring. Source
  • 'Did he find it in a Cracker Jack (box), or what?'; Trudeau blasted for suggesting Harper left him with $18B deficit

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted Tuesday that his Liberal government has been keeping its promise to be fiscally responsible and blamed the previous Conservative administration for being at least partly responsible for higher-than-expected deficits. But at least one Tory MP says the PM's math is "all wrong. Source
  • Manhunt in Manitoba for man who fled traffic stop, believed to have gun

    Canada News CTV News
    PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. -- Police in central Manitoba are on the lookout for a suspect who fled a traffic stop and they believe may be armed with a rifle. Schools in Portage la Prairie have been locked down and residents have been told to stay indoors while officers hunt for the person. Source
  • Dad collapses after border-guard daughter gets 11 years for letting 182 kg of cocaine into country

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL — Border guard Stefanie McClelland has received an 11-year sentence for letting 182 kilograms of cocaine across the Champlain—St-Bernard-de-Lacolle border. The father of the 40-year-old Canada Border Services Agency officer collapsed in the courtroom at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu courthouse after Superior Court Justice Andre Vincent read his decision on Tuesday. Source
  • GOP delays vote on Senate version of health-care bill [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — In a bruising setback, U.S. Senate Republican leaders shelved a vote on their prized health-care bill Tuesday until at least next month, forced to retreat by a GOP rebellion that left them lacking enough votes to even begin debate. Source