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Court rejects application to change location of Colton Cook murder trial

By Jakob Postlewaite Sep 21, 2022 | 4:50 PM

Yarmouth Courthouse.

The trial for those accused of the murder of Colton Cook will take place in Yarmouth.

An application was made to Yarmouth Supreme Court today for the trial to be moved to Halifax.

It was made by lawyers for Robert Rogers, who is accused of second degree murder and interference with human remains.

His lawyers argued extensive media coverage of the trial containing prejudicial information about where Cook’s body was found, commenters on Facebook calling for justice and a large amount of donations to Cook’s family were factors that could influence any jurors selected or cause biased jurors to be selected.

They also argued the case was similar to past examples where the venue of the trial was changed, specifically pointing to the murders that took place in Sydney River, Nova Scotia in 1992 at a Macdonald’s.

The Crown argued media coverage had not been extensive or contained prejudicial information, rather that they covered court and protests when they took place and the information the defense pointed to, which had been released by the RCMP, will be addressed at the trial anyway. They said Facebook commenter’s locations could not be properly identified as well as the location of those donating, though they did admit that certainly some are living in Yarmouth County.

Colton Cook

They argued the case was not similar to the Sydney River McDonald’s murders because media coverage had been far more prejudiced and there were multiple victims which sparked a larger community outrage.

Justice Pierre Muise ruled in favour of the Crown, meaning the trial will go forward in Yarmouth next year.

The other man accused of second degree murder and interference with human remains, Wayne Crawford, was present in court via video, though his lawyer did not make an application to change the venue of the trial.

The case returns on Monday for pre-trial arguments.

Meanwhile, the man who recently plead guilty to the charge of accessory after the fact to murder in the case, Keith Siscoe, will appear before a Mi’kmaq sentencing circle on November 18th.


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