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Murder trial in Winnipeg to continue with 11 jurors after one shows coronavirus symptoms

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews has restarted jury deliberations for a second-degree murder trial after a jury member showed symptoms of COVID-19.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews has restarted jury deliberations for a second-degree murder trial after a jury member showed symptoms of COVID-19. Shane Gibson/Global News

Jury deliberations for a second-degree murder trial in Manitoba are back on — with 11 jurors — after briefly being paused so a juror could be tested for COVID-19.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews put the deliberations on hold Wednesday, telling the remaining jurors one of their peers was exhibiting symptoms for the novel coronavirus and was not allowed to enter the courthouse.

Read more: Murder trial on pause while Winnipeg juror tested for coronavirus

On Thursday Toews said he received advice from public health that it is safe and prudent to continue.

Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.

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They resumed in Manitoba at the start of September with the trial of Kane Moar, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ricardo Hibi.

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Hibi, a 34-year-old foster home manager, was stabbed to death in 2018.

The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre near the courthouse and there has been physical distancing in courtrooms during trials.

Read more: Winnipeg police arrest man in connection with McGee St. murder investigation

Masks also became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

Toews said Thursday even if a juror tests positive, it doesn’t mean the remaining jurors would need to self-isolate given the preventatives steps taken in court.

–With files from The Canadian Press