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

  • Luxury shoe retailer Jimmy Choo is for sale

    World News CBC News
    A Jimmy Choo shoe is seen in a shop in downtown Rome in March 2016 file photo. (Max Rossi/Reuters) British luxury retailer Jimmy Choo is seeking offers for the company as part of a review of its strategic options to maximize shareholder value, it said on Monday. Source
  • Top Afghan officials resign in wake of massacre by Taliban at army base

    World News CBC News
    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accepted the resignations of his defence minister and army chief of staff on Monday, after more than 140 soldiers were killed last week in the deadliest-ever Taliban attack on a military base, the president's office said. Source
  • New Orleans to take down Confederate monuments

    World News CBC News
    New Orleans planned to begin removing the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation racism and white supremacy. Workers were to begin removing the first memorial, one that commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, overnight in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, some of whom city officials…
  • 5 dead, including children, NYC house fire

    World News CBC News
    Investigators are scouring for clues about what sparked a deadly, fast-moving house fire that killed five people, including three children, on a sunny spring afternoon. The fire broke out Sunday afternoon, on a street full of single-family homes in the middle-class neighbourhood of Queens Village, a neighbourhood near Belmont Park. Source
  • 5 dead, including children, in NYC house fire

    World News CBC News
    Investigators are scouring for clues about what sparked a deadly, fast-moving house fire that killed five people, including three children, on a sunny spring afternoon. The fire broke out Sunday afternoon, on a street full of single-family homes in the middle-class neighbourhood of Queens Village, a neighbourhood near Belmont Park. Source
  • New York City house fire kills 5, including 3 kids

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK - Investigators are scouring for clues about what sparked a deadly, fast-moving house fire that killed five people, including three children, on a sunny spring afternoon. The fire broke out Sunday afternoon, on a street full of single-family homes in the middle class neighbourhood of Queens Village. Source
  • Arkansas preps for first double execution in U.S. since 2000

    World News CTV News
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they're guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for Monday might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. Source
  • Pence cites 'challenging times' in speech to troops in American Samoa

    World News CTV News
    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, speaks during talks with Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Admiralty House in Sydney, Saturday, April 22, 2017. (Jason Reed/Pool Photo via AP) Source
  • Trump's talk on immigration leads to farmers push back on immigration

    World News CTV News
    JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - The head of Bethel Heights Vineyard looked out over the 100 acres of vines her crew of 20 Mexicans had just finished pruning, worried about what will happen if the Trump administration presses ahead with its crackdown on immigrants. Source
  • Trump's talk on immigration leads to push back from farmers

    World News CTV News
    JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - The head of Bethel Heights Vineyard looked out over the 100 acres of vines her crew of 20 Mexicans had just finished pruning, worried about what will happen if the Trump administration presses ahead with its crackdown on immigrants. Source