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RIP Kody Rien Manslaughter trial unexpectedly adjourned

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - Information - Bill Sawchuk - Canada Court Watch

The wheels of justice have ground to a halt — temporarily at least — in the Brian Matthews manslaughter trial.

On the day when closing arguments were expected to begin, the trial was adjourned until Dec. 11.

The adjournment will give the lawyers an opportunity to review their options after Judge Joseph Nadel’s bombshell Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday, Nadel told the court he might consider an alternative theory in the case, one that wasn’t proposed by the Crown.

“Mr. Barr and I will have to put our heads together with our client and make a determination in how we will proceed with the trial,” defense lawyer Kimberley Vanderlee said outside the courtroom. “We will have to decide on whether we will call any defence evidence. We will have to decide if the accused himself, Mr. Matthews, will testify. We are going to have to decide if we are going to bring forward any other witnesses.

“We are going to have to stop for a moment and assess where we are.”

Before the adjournment, Nadel suggested that Matthews, 39, may be criminally negligent — and therefore guilty of manslaughter — for leaving Kody unsupervised in the living room with an 80-pound animal, even though that theory wasn’t advanced by Crown Attorney Cheryl Gzit.

The Crown’s case was built on the theory that Matthews inflicted Kody’s head injuries by shaking or slamming the child into a hard surface.

Nadel is hearing the case without a jury. He emphasized that he hadn’t made any determinations yet, but wanted both sides aware he felt compelled to consider any theory — as long as it was supported by evidence already presented.

Vanderlee argued that while Nadel had a right to consider a theory not advanced by the Crown, doing so at this late date was “extremely prejudicial” to her client.

She said his entire defence was based on refuting the Crown’s theory.

Nadel dismissed Vanderlee’s argument. He referenced an email exchange with Gzit on the day before the trial where Gzit confirmed her theory was that Matthews inflicted the injuries — but also said she would wait to see how the trial unfolded before making her closing remarks.

“The main thing here is that we find out what happened to Kody,” said Chris York, the child’s step-grandfather who often speaks for the family. “We come here every day for Kody.

“I am still confident we will get justice, and there will probably be a conviction. Whether he inflicted the injuries, or Kody died because he wasn’t properly supervised, is irrelevant. Based on the evidence, he should be convicted of manslaughter.”

York is part of a group of Kody’s family members that has launched a $750,000 lawsuit against Family and Children’s Services Niagara giving custody of the child to Matthews.

Emergency crews were called to Matthews’ home on Thorold Townline Road on July 25, 2015, in response to a 911 call for a child in medical distress.

Paramedics took Kody to St. Catharines hospital before he was transferred to McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton by air ambulance. Doctors decided to remove Kody from life support the next day.

Matthews was arrested and charged by Niagara Regional Police in November 2015 following a lengthy investigation.

bsawchuk@postmedia.com

Twitter: Bill_Standard 



read the  full story of the original page or follw the source links:
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/11/16/manslaughter-trial-unexpectedly-adjourned

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Children's Aid Societies causing thousands of parents to live in fear RIP Kody Rien

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X I am a mother, grandmother, and a Canadian Citizen I'm guilty of what many Canadians citizens are guilty of- the belief that the Child Protective Services, the Children's Aid Societies of Ontario - a systematic, bureaucratic, governmental organiza... More >>
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