Notable trials set for new year
Domestic homicide, police abuse hearings will be in spotlight
In the decade spanning the year 2000 to the end of 2009, there were 738 spousal homicides in Canada, according to Statistics Canada.
One of those killings was Ottawa woman Donna Jones.
A federal public servant described by friends as a vivacious, cheerful woman, the 33-year-old was found dead in her Barwell Avenue home in December 2009.
And in 2013, her husband will go on trial.
Mark Peter Hutt, 36, is expected to plead not guilty to second-degree murder. At the time of his arrest, police suspected Jones was tortured, burned with scalding water and had old injuries consistent with repeated abuse.
A publication ban prevents the horrifying details that were presented in court during a preliminary hearing from being reported, but the case is among the most highprofile cases on the court docket for 2013.
Ottawa’s head Crown attorney, Vikki Bair, will prosecute Hutt herself when the trial starts May 6.
Hutt’s murder trial will follow that of another alleged domestic killer, Tamrat Gebere.
Gebere, 47, a public servant who worked for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is accused of second-degree murder in the June 2010 slaying of Aster Kassa. Kassa was stabbed to death in a Riverside apartment after she left Gebere with the couple’s 18-month-old daughter. The couple had been separated for a short time before the killing.
Gebere’s jury trial begins Jan. 14.
OTHER NOTABLE TRIALS AND SENTENCES IN 2013:
High-profile allegations of police abuse will also be on the court docket in 2013.
The sexual assault trial of an Ottawa police sergeant accused of cutting off the shirt and bra of a prisoner resumes after a nearly three month hiatus.
Sgt. Steve Desjourdy was the officer in charge of the Ottawa police Elgin St. station cellblock on Sept. 6, 2008 when the woman was brought in for public intoxication.
The woman resisted a police search and kicked a special constable. A prosecutor alleged Desjourdy was trying to humiliate and punish the woman for injuring a colleague when he snipped off her clothes. Desjourdy said in written reports he was trying to protect her from hanging herself.
The trial may hear from Desjourdy himself when the trial resumes Jan. 2.
Two other Ottawa police constables will stand trial for assault in May. Constables Thahn Tran and Colin Bowie are accused of beating a homeless man during an arrest in Sandy Hill. Charges against the man they arrested, Hugh Styres, were later withdrawn.
The alleged getaway driver in the deadly shooting of a 16-year-old on Booth Street will stand trial for manslaughter starting on Jan. 21. Abdulhamid Wehbe, 22, was originally charged with second-degree murder in the Dec. 6, 2010 killing of Yazdan Ghiasvand Ghiasi. Ghiasi was shot in the heart in Wehbe’s car, allegedly over a bag of drugs. An arrest warrant is still outstanding for the alleged shooter, Mohamed Wehbe.
The second-degree murder trial of the man accused in the stabbing of 22-year-old Scott Ledoux at a 2011 St. Patrick’s Day party in Orléans is set to begin Feb. 4. Ben Taylor, 20, stands accused of stabbing Ledoux during a fight at an apartment on Cousineau Street. Ledoux wore a leprechaun hat, a green beaded necklace and a smile as he posed for a picture hours before his death, surrounded by three friends at the party.
Three men accused in the shooting death of a teenager in a Moodie Drive home are expected to stand trial in September. Dylan Barnett, 20, Kristopher McLellan, 22, and Kyle Mullen, 21, are accused of second-degree murder in the Feb. 22, 2010, killing of Michael Swan. Swan, 19, was shot once in the back during what appeared to be a home invasion. The three Toronto men accused of killing him were arrested within hours as they drove down Highway 401 near Gananoque.
A man accused of running down a cyclist while allegedly driving drunk is expected to stand trial in September. Glen Carkner, 45, struck cyclist Nathan Anderson on Carling Avenue in February. The crash occurred after Carkner was allegedly denied service at the Hampton Park Plaza LCBO. Police officers who were preparing to pursue the vehicle witnessed the collision with the cyclist, who was wearing a helmet.
An immigration manager found guilty of abusing her position by accepting cash or gifts to help fast track applications is expected to learn her fate sometime in the new year. A sentencing date for Diane Serre is expected to be set on Jan. 4.