The defence in the Douglas Hales murder trial has made it clear it will be seeking a mistrial when the two sides return to a Saskatoon courtroom next month.
Hales is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Daleen Bosse of Onion Lake Cree Nation who was last seen in May 2004.
Justice Gerald Allbright had been scheduled to render a decision in the trial Friday but this has been delayed due to a Supreme Court ruling on Mr. Big undercover police sting operations last month.
In overturning the murder conviction of a Newfoundland man, the nation’s highest court found police relied too heavily on Mr. Big techniques of inducements and veiled threats to obtain a confession.
Undercover RCMP officers used a Mr. Big operation to solicit a murder confession out of Hales in 2008.
Defence lawyer Bob Hrycan says based on recent the Supreme Court ruling, a mistrial is the most logical way to proceed.
“Our position is that when the law changes this significantly and this dramatically, it’s almost impossible to revisit the evidentiary landscape of a trial,” he says.
However, prosecutor Matt Miazga says the Crown believes the case against Hales remains as strong as it was before the Supreme Court ruling.
He also says the Hart case in Newfoundland and the case against Hales are not similar.
In the Hart case, it was never clear whether a murder had actually occurred.
Hales led police to Bosse’s remains and has admitted to burning her body.
This latest twist is only one of several delays in the trial.
It took the trial six years to go to court after Hales was arrested in 2008 as he proceeded to fire and change a number of lawyers.
Miazga says Bosse’s family is eager to see a decision in the case but at the same time they understand the reasons for this latest delay.
“I think they understand that it’s important to go though things carefully and I think they realize it’s better to wait another few weeks, get things done correctly, have a proper decision – than rush through something, come up with a verdict that may not be appeal proof, so to speak, and then end up having a new trial a year or two down the road,” he says. “So, I think they understand this is important to go through things carefully.”
Aside from a mistrial, Justice Allbright could choose to re-open the existing trial.
Or, after hearing arguments by the Crown and defence on the Supreme Court ruling on Sept. 22, he could decide to render a decision at this time.
A number of friends and family of Bosse who were in court Friday were wearing t-shirts with the logo “Honouring Our Sisters: Missing but not forgotten” on them.