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2014-04-07 at 13:22

Incomplete report delays murder sentencing

By Jodi Lundmark,
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An incomplete Gladue report has delayed the sentencing hearing for a man accused of murder.

Jeffrey Charles Tomagatick, 30, appeared at the Thunder Bay Courthouse, on its first day of operations, Monday for a criminal plea and sentencing hearing.

Tomagatick was charged in September 2012 with second-degree murder and robbery in connection with the death of 50-year-old Murray Keesic.

The alleged incident between the two men happened in a laneway in the 200 block of North Syndicate Avenue on Sept. 13, 2012.

Tomagatick was arrested several hours after the assault and alleged robbery of Keesic, who died overnight in the hospital. 

Defence lawyer George Joseph asked for the adjournment after his client expressed concerns over deficiencies in the Gladue report - a pre-sentence report that considers the background of a First Nation offender.

Joseph said Tomagatick did not want to be robbed of his right to be sentenced on Gladue principles.

Crown attorney Deb Kinsella asked for the hearing to proceed Monday, stating the missing information could be obtained through other means, including the accused testifying to his background.

Kinsella also argued that there were many of the victim's family members in attendance in the courtroom and via video. Many of them had travelled from out of town to attend the hearing.

But defence argued that Tomagatick's rights trumped anyone else's in the courtroom.

Justice Helen Pierce ruled in favour of the adjournment; she stated it was unfair to the defence to arrive in court and present by other evidence.

It was too important to be done on a spur of the moment, the judge added.

Justice Pierce apologized to the victim's family members, but said it was unfair to proceed.

Monday's proceedings were delayed about half an hour because of technical issues in the brand new courtroom and the prisoner transport elevator was temporarily out of order.

The case will resume on July 2.


Follow Jodi Lundmark on Twitter @JodiL_reporter

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