Friday, June 25, 2010
Sentencing hearing in Hutterie colony sex abuse adjourned until next week
Court reporter Mike McIntyre was Tweeting live from the sentencing of a 19-year-old member of a Manitoba Hutterite colony who has admitted to drugging, restraining and sexually abusing several boys over a prolonged period of time.
The accused – who can’t be named because some of his crimes occurred while he was a youth – was to be sentenced today on charges of sexual interference and forcible confinement, but things did not go as planned.
Read a replay of his Tweets to see for yourself.
Judge is not happy with the Crown, who dropped 6 cases in her office earlier today to review.
Judge has had no time to read them - has been in court since 9 - and says it's her preference to be prepared ahead of court.
Now defence lawyer raising objection as well to only being given Crown's cases just before court.
Judge: It would be my preference to put this matter over. Has told Crown, defence lawyers to take a few minutes out of court to discuss.
Just for background, judges usually like lawyers to give them copies of cases they intend to rely on well ahead of sentencing date.
This is especially important in cases where lawyers are NOT making a joint-recommendation, helps judge prepare for arguments.
Crown attorney Jennifer Mann told judge she's been tied up in court all week, this am was first opportunity to do so.
Alright, lawyers in Hutterite sex case back in court. Both saying they want sentencing to start immediately.
Defence now just handed judge his stack of cases. Again, she's not very impressed.
Crown gave judge 6 cases, defence 5. Judge: "That's 11 cases I would have liked to have read."
Defence wants sentence of time already spent in custody for accused. Crown wants nearly 4 more years in prison.
Judge is refusing lawyer's bid to have sentencing hearing proceed. She's ordering an adjournment. Now lawyers not impressed. Gong show.
Now lawyers asking if judge can not be "seized" of case, so they can find another judge who can hear it ASAP.
Now everyone is checking their schedules over next few weeks to see if they can find a date that works.
As you can tell, folks, court doesn't always move as slick and smoothly as it does on "Law & Order"!
Judge apologized to accused. "I'm sure this is a stressful time waiting for your sentencing. Sorry we have to put it over, not your fault."
They've found a date for adjournment - July 19, 2 pm. Judge Smith will remain seized.
They tried to find a different judge available to hear it next week - but apparently there are no judges free to hear it.
Crown and judge are now arguing, on the record. Bizarre.
Judge lecturing Crown about leaving things to last minute. Crown unhappy judge not seeming to be very flexible.
They are now taking another break to cool down, see if they can't find a date available before July 19, with or without this judge.
This is a total mess. And pretty embarrasing for the justice system.
Lawyers are back in court. Sounds like they have another "solution."
They have now booked July 2, 2 pm. in front of another judge.
So, a one-week adjournment instead of three-and-a-half.
They are now trying to find out what judge will hear it so all of these cases can be forwarded to them ahead of time.