Wil­liams re­tains top lawyer

Cape Breton Post - - NATIONAL -

TORONTO (CP) — The Cana­dian mil­i­tary com­man­der charged with two mur­ders and sex­ual as­saults near the east­ern On­tario mil­i­tary base he over­saw has re­tained a top de­fence lawyer from Ottawa.

Michael Edel­son will take on Col. Rus­sell Wil­liams’ case, but will send an agent to a sched­uled video ap­pear­ance in a Belleville, Ont., court Thurs­day.

Wil­liams, 46, is be­ing held without bail in the Quinte De­ten­tion Cen­tre in nearby Na­pa­nee. He is charged with two counts of first-de­gree mur­der in the deaths of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau and Jes­sica Lloyd.

The charges have rocked the Cana­dian mil­i­tary to its core and have left the com­mu­ni­ties in which the al­leged crimes occurred badly shaken.

Edel­son has a num­ber of other high-pro­file clients, in­clud­ing Nova Sco­tia Bishop Ray­mond La­hey, who is charged with pos­sess­ing and im­port­ing child pornog­ra­phy. He also rep­re­sented Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien, who was found not guilty last Au­gust of in­flu­ence-ped­dling.

Edel­son has rep­re­sented over 55 clients charged with mur­der in his 29-year ca­reer, ac­cord­ing to his web­site.

Wil­liams, of Tweed, Ont., served as com­man­der of Canada’s largest mil­i­tary air­field, Cana­dian Forces Base Tren­ton, un­til his ar­rest Feb. 7 in Ottawa.

Po­lice have said they don’t ex­pect to release the cause of death of ei­ther Lloyd or Comeau.

Be­sides two first-de­gree mur­der charges, Wil­liams faces two counts of forcible con­fine­ment and two counts of break and en­ter and sex­ual as­sault re­lat­ing to the at­tacks in Tweed last Septem­ber.

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