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

  • U.S. lawmakers demand action on food corruption in Venezuela

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan officials may face U.S. sanctions for profiting from food shortages that have exacerbated hunger in the South American country. The calls by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle come in response to an Associated Press investigation that found trafficking in hard-to-find food has become big business in Venezuela, with the military at the heart of the graft. Source
  • Protesters take control of Mexican border crossing with U.S.

    World News CTV News
    TIJUANA, Mexico -- Protesters took control of vehicle lanes at one of the busiest crossings on the U.S. border Sunday to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes, waving through motorists into Mexico after Mexican authorities abandoned their posts. Source
  • MH370 search crews return to port after fruitless hunt ends

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — The ship involved in the recently halted hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 returned to port in western Australia on Monday, where officials from the countries that funded the fruitless search gathered to thank them and to defend their decision to end the hunt despite recommendations from investigators that it continue. Source
  • Ship involved in failed search for MH370 returns home

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY -- The ship involved in the recently halted hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has returned to port in western Australia for the final time. Officials from Malaysia, Australia and China gathered in Perth on Monday to thank the crew of the Fugro Equator. Source
  • Canadian chefs take 2nd at international ice sculpture competition

    Canada News CBC News
    A pair of chefs representing Canada won second place in one of the world's largest ice carving competitions, which takes place each year in northeastern China. Rusty Cox, of Cranbrook, B.C., and Steve Buzak, from Edmonton, Alta. Source
  • 18 dead amid reported tornadoes, other storms in the South

    World News Toronto Sun
    ATLANTA — A weekend of deadly weather in the Southeast killed 15 people and injured dozens more, authorities said Sunday, while residents along the Georgia-Florida line were bracing for more intense, fast-moving storms — including unusually strong “long track” twisters. Source
  • 'He lights up my life': Boy born to dying B.C. woman now thriving

    Canada News CTV News
    A baby born to a dying woman whose last wish was to hold her son is now thriving as a toddler, family members say. Breanne Smaaslet, 22, was diagnosed with terminal osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, when she discovered she was pregnant. Source
  • Mexico identifies 56 sets of human remains in mass grave

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors said Sunday that 56 sets of human remains have been identified in a jumble of bone fragments found at a burial pit in Mexico’s northern border state of Nuevo Leon. State prosecutors said the pit was discovered in February 2016 on a rural hillside in Garcia, near the northern city of Monterrey. Source
  • Canada poised to deport serial rapist

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Authorities in Malaysia are on alert as Canada gets set to deport an unrepentant serial rapist back to his homeland. The Ottawa-based High Commissioner of Malaysia is taking the “necessary action” regarding Selva Kumar Subbiah, spokesman Dzulkefly Abdullah said in an e-mail, without elaborating. Source
  • 'An awakening' for Canadians attending U.S. women’s marches

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian women who attended women's marches in the United States on Saturday say the events have left them feeling inspired. Busloads of Canadians from Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and other cities crossed the border Friday and Saturday to attend the anti-Donald Trump marches, including a major one in Washington, D.C. Source