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Bushby trial to proceed at courthouse hotel on Nov. 2

The trial was originally scheduled to begin on Oct. 13 but was delayed due to the closure of the 125 Brodie Street location. Global News

THUNDER BAY — A Thunder Bay man facing a charge of manslaughter and aggravated assault in connection with the death of a 34-year-old woman is still expected to proceed on Nov. 2 at the former Superior Court of Justice, now a hotel, on Camelot Street.

Defence and Crown counsel held a case conference in front of Justice Helen Pierce on Tuesday, Oct. 27, to discuss details of the Brayden Bushby trial scheduled to commence on Nov. 2.

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At Tuesday’s case conference meeting held virtually, counsel was informed by Pierce they had received permission to proceed with the Bushby trial scheduled to commence next Monday at the former Superior Court of Justice.

Due to a fire at the city’s courthouse located at 125 Brodie Street North on Oct. 4, the trial was unable to proceed at this location due to the courthouse remaining physically closed while repairs are underway. The trial was originally scheduled to begin on Oct. 13 but was delayed due to the closure of the 125 Brodie Street location.

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During Tuesday’s virtual meeting, Pierce and counsel discussed various details regarding the space for the new trial including parking and how to maintain health and safety standards with respect to COVID-19. Pierce also informed counsel the trial is expected to be live-streamed.

“It is anticipated that the court proceedings will be available to be streamed provided that this can be set up,” Pierce said. “We wouldn’t do this in a regular trial but I know this case is important to a lot of people and because of COVID restrictions we are not able to accommodate everyone in the courtroom who may want to be there.”

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The main courtroom at the hotel expected to be used for the trial will accommodate up to 20 people, Pierce said Tuesday and a separate boardroom with a video feed of the trial may be used to accommodate media personnel.

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Lawyers will conduct a walk-through of the facility to ensure its readiness for the trial on either Thursday or Friday of this week.

Bushby was first going to stand trial by jury on the charge of second-degree murder last January, but it was adjourned to wait for the Ontario Court of Appeal to deliver a decision concerning the law as it pertains to jury selection.

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A second trial date in April was also delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rescheduled to be on Oct. 5.

That trial date was changed to Oct. 13 after the Crown announced it would be filing a new indictment on charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault.

The case dates back to 2017 when it is alleged that on the night of Jan. 28, Bushby threw a metal trailer hitch from a moving vehicle that struck Kentner in the abdomen while she was walking in the Cameron Street area. In July 2017 Kentner died in hospital. She was 34-years-old.

Bushby was released on bail in November 2017. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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