Trial to proceed despite missing accused murderer
Despite the absence of accused murderer Nathan Gervais, one of five men charged in a swarming death, the prosecution will proceed to trial next week, court heard Monday.
Crown lawyer Ken McCaffrey said even if Gervais is not found by Thursday — when jury selection is scheduled for the eight-week trial — the case against his four co-accused will go ahead.
“Mr. Gervais appears to have gone missing,” McCaffrey told Justice Glen Poelman, who will preside over the jury trial.
“There was a curfew check done 10 days ago and he hasn’t returned,” the prosecutor said.
“There’s a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest.”
Defence counsel Alain Hepner said he has no more information than the Crown about his client’s whereabouts.
“I’m in touch with the family to try to find out where Nathan is, but I have no update,” Hepner said.
McCaffrey said he and co-prosecutors Marlo MacGregor and Samina Dhalla are prepared to run their case without Gervais, meaning a second trial would be scheduled if he were captured.
“My position it that we would proceed against the four (others),” he said.
“And Mr. Gervais if he shows up,” Poelman added.
The judge said that would have to be by Thursday morning, when jury selection is scheduled.
“By the time the jury is selected we need to know what direction we’re going,” he said.
Poelman scheduled another pretrial meeting with the lawyers for all five accused for late Wednesday to get an update on whether Gervais has been found.
Gervais, 21, is charged with firstdegree murder in the Nov. 23, 2013, swarming death of Lukas StrasserHird.
Four others Franz Emir Cabrera, Joch Simon Pouk, Assmar Ryiad Shlah, and Jordan Lee Liao, are charged with second-degree murder.
Gervais was on bail under 24hour house arrest when police found him missing during a routine check.