No split for polygamy trial, says judge

Two members of the community of Bountiful facing polygamy charges will be tried at the same time.

  • Apr. 12, 2017 12:00 p.m.

Winston Blackmore and James Oler were in Cranbrook on Tuesday as the former filed an application to separate their two polygamy charges into separate trials.

Corey Bullock

Two members of the community of Bountiful facing polygamy charges will be tried at the same time.

Blair Suffredine, the defense counsel for Winston Blackmore, was in court on Tuesday, April 11 arguing that Blackmore’s proceedings should be separate from that of James Oler, who is also facing a Polygamy charge.

On Wednesday, April 12 Justice Sheri Ann Donegan ruled, in a brief hearing, that Suffredine’s request for separate trial will be dismissed.

Donegan, “balanced the interests of the public and the accused,” and was not persuaded that the trial will need to be separated.

Donegan will announce her full reasons in court on Tuesday April 18, prior to the commencement of trial.

Both Blackmore and Oler are connected to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (FLDS) community of Bountiful south of Creston.

Suffredine argued that the alleged polygamy charges involve two separate people and occured and two separate times, and there is no factual overlap at all.

Suffredine also noted that – if tried together – evidence against Oler could be prejudicial against Blackmore and vice versa.

Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor appointed by the provincial government to pursue the polygamy charges, countered the argument by noting that expert evidence is going to be called from witnesses in the U.S. and that it wouldn’t make sense to have them come up to Canada twice for separate proceedings.

“It’s undesirable and contrary to the interests of justice to run the same trial twice,” said Wilson.

With files from Trevor Crawley

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read