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

  • Netanyahu makes history as Israel's longest-serving leader

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- As Benjamin Netanyahu becomes Israel's longest-serving prime minister, he is solidifying his place as the country's greatest political survivor and the most dominant force in Israeli politics in his generation. He has persevered through scandals, crises and conflicts, winning election after election even as the country grows more bitterly polarized. Source
  • Judge restricts social media use of Trump friend Roger Stone

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- No more Instagram for Roger Stone. Facebook and Twitter are out, too. A federal judge barred Stone from posting on social media Tuesday after concluding that the longtime confidant of U.S. President Donald Trump, who is charged with lying in the Russia investigation, repeatedly flouted her gag order. Source
  • Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' faces sentencing in U.S. case

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Will the notorious Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo" go quietly? For Joaquin Guzman, that's the biggest question at his sentencing in New York City on Wednesday. The highly-anticipated hearing could be his last chance to speak publicly before spending the rest of his life behind bars at a maximum security U.S. Source
  • Man arrested in slaying of 75-year-old African American museum founder

    World News CTV News
    The suspect in the slaying of a community leader who founded Baton Rouge's African American history museum was a tenant who owed her back rent, authorities said Tuesday. Ronn Jermaine Bell, 38, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder, city Police Chief Murphy J. Source
  • Von der Leyen confirmed as new European Commission president

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS - Ursula von der Leyen was confirmed as the European Commission president Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold one of the most prestigious positions in the European Union and who will be one of the most prominent faces from the bloc on the world stage. Source
  • Nomination process for federal election candidates 'uncompetitive' and 'biased': report

    Canada News CBC News
    Just a small portion of federal candidates go through competitive nomination contests, according to a new report from the Samara Centre for Democracy which describes the nomination process as "a weak point in our democratic infrastructure." Wednesday's report — entitled 'Party Favours: How federal election candidates are chosen' — looked at the more than 6,600 candidates who ran to represent one of Canada's five major political parties during the last five federal elections. Source
  • Rescuers look for survivors after building collapse in India

    World News CTV News
    MUMBAI, India -- Rescuers cleared debris and used sniffer dogs Wednesday to find possible survivors under the rubble of a dilapidated building that collapsed in India's financial capital of Mumbai. At least 12 people were killed, and several are still feared trapped. Source
  • Northern Ontario First Nation declares state of emergency over water quality

    Canada News CTV News
    An escalation of long-standing issues with its water supply pushed a First Nation in northern Ontario to declare a state of emergency, its chief said Tuesday as he called for help dealing with the problem. Source
  • Two women allege inappropriate messages from Manitoba grand chief

    Canada News CTV News
    Two women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate text messages involving the province’s grand chief, while the First Nations leader denies any wrongdoing. Bethany Maytwayashing said she first met Manitoba Grand Chief Arlen Dumas while working at a Winnipeg restaurant in 2018 and saw him again in May 2019. Source
  • Hong Kong protests expand to oppose China, with no end near

    World News CTV News
    HONG KONG -- Colin Wong has come to know the sting of pepper spray well. After more than a month of demonstrations in Hong Kong's sweltering heat, memories of the burning sensation are a constant reminder of what protesters call an excessive use of force by police. Source