Cou­ple charged in boy’s death ap­peal trial dates

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - NEWS - BILL GRAVELAND

De­fence ar­gues court doesn’t have power to set trial time while pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing out­come is still un­clear

A Cal­gary cou­ple charged with man­slaugh­ter in the death of a five-year-old boy is ap­peal­ing a judge’s de­ci­sion to re­open their pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, but not to can­cel their trial set for later this year.

Af­ter a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing a year ago, Al­lan and Carolina Per­domo were com­mit­ted to stand trial in the death of Eneas Emilio Per­domo.

The boy died five days af­ter he was taken to hos­pi­tal in July, 2015.

Eneas was Al­lan Per­domo’s bi­o­log­i­cal grand­son.

In June, Jus­tice Richard Neufeld quashed the com­mit­tal to stand trial and the in­dict­ment for the cou­ple to al­low the de­fence to ques­tion the lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor.

Last month, he said he would re­open the pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing for one day, on Sept. 19, but would main­tain the trial dates that were al­ready set for Novem­ber.

“I think that my de­ci­sion was blind­ingly clear on what is ex­pected in this case in terms of next steps and I was very spe­cific as to what’s to be done,” Jus­tice Neufeld said Aug. 15.

“We are in the post-Jor­dan era here where ev­ery­one is ex­pected to row in the same di­rec­tion as far as get­ting mat­ters dealt with in an ex­pe­di­tious way.”

In 2016, the Supreme Court’s Jor­dan de­ci­sion im­posed time lim­its on how long it can take for a crim­i­nal case to go to trial be­fore it is deemed un­rea­son­ably de­layed.

The rul­ing said peo­ple charged with an of­fence have the right to have their cases tried within 18 months for Pro­vin­cial Courts and 30 months for Su­pe­rior Courts.

But Al­lan Per­domo’s lawyer says Jus­tice Neufeld did not have the ju­ris­dic­tion to main­tain a trial date while the out­come of a pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry is up in the air.

“There is no ju­ris­dic­tion for the Court of Queen’s Bench to re­serve trial time for a mat­ter that is not be­fore it for an in­dict­ment that has been quashed and does not ex­ist in law,” writes Dar­ren Ma­honey in his ap­peal.

“It is an abuse of process for the Al­berta Court of Queen’s Bench to as­sist the Crown to avoid a [Jor­dan] ap­pli­ca­tion by re­serv­ing trial dates for a mat­ter not legally be­fore it due to the Crown’s con­duct at the pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing.”

The ap­peal also re­quests the dis­clo­sure of any com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the Crown’s of­fice and the Court of Queen’s Bench re­gard­ing the pre­vi­ously set trial dates.

Po­lice have said Eneas had swelling and bruis­ing all over his body when he was brought to hos­pi­tal. An au­topsy con­cluded his death was the re­sult of mul­ti­ple blunt-force trauma in­juries.

No date for an ap­peal has been sched­uled.

We are in the post-Jor­dan era here where ev­ery­one is ex­pected to row in the same di­rec­tion as far as get­ting mat­ters dealt with in an ex­pe­di­tious way. RICHARD NEUFELD JUDGE

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