A man set to have his first-degree murder conviction appeal heard next week has petitioned the court for a delay, citing COVID-19 restrictions preventing in-person court attendance.

Daniel Theodore is one of three men convicted of first-degree murder of First Nations man Reno Lee in Regina on April 16, 2015.

“Theodore has requested an adjournment of the appeal hearing to a date in the future when the current COVID-19 concerns have abated so that he can attend the hearing in person,” a recent Court of Appeal ruling read.

The court acknowledged that the accused is entitled to appear during a hearing but, it is not a right and that certain exceptions can be made.

“The personal attendance of an appellant is not an absolute right. An appellant is entitled to be present at an appeal, the court may order that “instead of the appellant personally appearing … if the appellant has access to legal advice, they appear by means of closed-circuit television or videoconference”.”

Theodore, Andrew Bellegarde and Bronson Gordon are set to have their appeal heard September 14, 15.

Gordon indicated he was fine with videoconferencing, while Gordon wanted to attend in person, but did not request an adjournment.

The court ruled the appeal will be heard next week via videoconferencing. Lee was fatally shot. All three men were sentenced to life in prison.

(Photo: Queen’s Court Regina.)