Constitutional arguments in the case of Winston Blackmore, a polygamous leader near Creston, B.C., have been delayed until December in Cranbrook Supreme Court. Trevor Crawley photo

Constitutional challenge in polygamy case delayed

Legal process for fundamentalist Mormon leader found guilty of polygamy grinds to a halt.

Constitutional arguments in a landmark polygamy case have been adjourned till December after lawyers haggled over delays in filing court documents.

Winston Blackmore, who was found guilty of polygamy earlier this year, filed noticed that he would be raising a charter challenge following the conclusion of the Crown’s case in April.

Blackmore, the polygamous leader of a fundamentalist Mormon community near Creston, was found guilty in July, along with co-accused James Marion Oler, who was also charged with polygamy.

READ: Bountiful leaders found guilty of polygamy

However, since the notice, there has been a few different versions of affidavits circulated informally to crown attorneys by Blackmore’s lawyer, Blair Suffredine, along with missed filing deadlines to the court registry.

Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor appointed by the provincial government to litigate the case, expressed his frustration with missed deadlines after opening the court session by asking Justice Sheri Donegan to adjourn the hearing.

“I’m in a position where, under normal circumstances, I would object but understand Mr. Blackmore is entitled to his day in court,” said Wilson.

Justice Donegan agreed.

“This is an important case and fairness is integral to the entire process,” she said.

After indicating he would not be bringing forward a constitutional challenge before the trial process in April, Suffredine reversed course and signalled his intent to file a notice of application at the conclusion of the Crown’s case.

From there, there have been ongoing complications in missed deadlines for affidavits as well as an agreed statement of facts.

Justice Donegan adjourned the hearing over until the week of Dec. 11, where lawyers will return to Cranbrook Supreme Court.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Westcoast Forest Society is searching for wood and trees

Scrap wood will be used to help rebuild the local salmon populations near Tofino and Ucluelet.

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway reopens after bridge installed earlier than expected

Hwy. 4 now open to all vehicles, including delivery trucks and RVs

UPDATED: Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Tofino shakes up emergency notification service

“You can download maps and it has more functionality.”

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

Most Read