Advertisement

Eduardo Balaquit manslaughter trial paused after more jurors test positive for COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Manslaughter trial paused after more jurors test positive for COVID-19' Manslaughter trial paused after more jurors test positive for COVID-19
A jury trial for the Winnipeg man charged with manslaughter in the 2018 disappearance of Eduardo Balaquit has been put on hold after two more jurors tested positive for COVID-19. – Apr 6, 2022

A jury trial for the Winnipeg man charged with manslaughter in the 2018 disappearance of Eduardo Balaquit has been put on hold after two more jurors tested positive for COVID-19.

The pause comes after a first juror who tested positive for COVID-19 was being discharged Tuesday.

Read more: Juror discharged in Eduardo Balaquit manslaughter trial after testing positive for COVID-19

Crown attorney Vanessa Gama confirmed to Global News Wednesday that two more jurors have since tested positive for the virus, leading the judge to put the trial on hold for five days.

Balaquit was last seen on June 4, 2018, when he left home to go to his cleaning job at Westcon Equipment on Keewatin Street.

Click to play video: 'Navigating court proceedings during a pandemic' Navigating court proceedings during a pandemic
Navigating court proceedings during a pandemic – Sep 14, 2021

His van was later found at the business with a smashed window and his belongings still inside.

Story continues below advertisement

Balaquit’s body has never been found.

Read more: Jury trial begins for man accused of manslaughter in Eduardo Balaquit disappearance

In 2021, nearly three years after his disappearance, Winnipeg police announced Kyle Alexander James Pietz, 35, had been arrested in Saskatoon.

Pietz was charged with manslaughter in connection with the homicide and disappearance of Balaquit. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Click to play video: 'New rules for Manitoba court cases involving vaccination and children' New rules for Manitoba court cases involving vaccination and children
New rules for Manitoba court cases involving vaccination and children – Feb 8, 2022

The 14-person jury heard the Crown’s opening arguments Monday morning.

The Crown argued the case is about a man driven by desperation that ultimately cost Balaquit his life.

Read more: New rules for Manitoba court cases involving vaccination and children

Story continues below advertisement

In her opening arguments, Gama argued Pietz was in financial desperation and robbed Balaquit and ended up killing him in the process.

The trial had been expected to last six weeks.

— with files from Marney Blunt and Keesha Harewood 

Sponsored content