Williams retains top lawyer
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.