Mistrial declared in matter involving Hamilton man who shot and killed Six Nations man in 2016

John Sopinka Ontario Court House. The Canadian Press Images/Stephen C. Host

An Ontario Superior Court judge has declared a mistrial in a trial for a homeowner who gunned down a Six Nations man in front of his Binbrook house in 2016.

Justice Andrew Goodman opted to end proceedings after it was revealed one of the 11 jurors had a connection with Hamilton police as a victim services volunteer.

Goodman told the court it was “very important” to have a panel that is “impartial, free from bias” and that the information should have been disclosed by the potential juror during a question period in the selection process.

Read more: New trial begins for Hamilton man who shot and killed Six Nations man in 2016

Potential jurors, from a panel of between 100 and 120, are expected to be called back by trial coordinators.

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Goodman expects a new jury selection process will commence this Friday to fill 14 positions with two alternates, with the goal of starting a new trial on Monday, Nov. 28.

Twelve jurors and two alternates were selected from 100 candidates on Monday earlier this week for the initial trial at the John Sopinka Courthouse in downtown Hamilton.

However, that number dropped to just 11 on Tuesday after Justice Andrew Goodman excused a juror due to a death in the family, while the two alternates were dismissed earlier in the day in anticipation they would not be needed.

Goodman said a minimum of 10 jurors would be needed for the process and it would be worse to have to declare a mistrial even further along in the process if someone else had to be dismissed.

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“It’s inconvenient but hopefully we will continue afresh,” he told the court on Wednesday.

On trial is Peter Khill, a man accused of fatally shooting Jon Styres in his driveway next to a pickup truck on Feb 4, 2016.

Read more: Hamilton man who shot and killed would-be car thief granted appeal at Supreme Court

Khill, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, was granted another trial two years ago by an Ontario court, confirmed through a Supreme Court decision last year.

The defendant is arguing he was acting in self-defense.

The first version of the new trial started on Monday with jury selection and by Tuesday had seen testimony from a Hamilton Police forensic investigator and ballistics expert from the Centre of Forensic Sciences.

Once it’s underway again, the trial is expected to last two to three weeks.

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