After what has been possibly the longest running preliminary hearing in Canada a date to set a date for trial in Sault Ste. Marie has been set. Today, the Crown and defence for the accused met in court before Justice I.S. McMillan to establish a January 13th, 2016 commitment to discuss a suitable to date for trial. Challenges balancing the schedules of three defence Counsel and the schedule of the Crown has exacerbated the length of time to get this matter before a jury.
Ronald Mitchell, Eric Mearow and Dylan Jocko have been charged with first degree murder and indignity to human remains. The victim’s, Wesley Hallam, decapitated and dismembered body was discovered in a deep ridge along Landslide Road on January 11th, 2011. In March 2011, Sault Ste. Marie Police concluded a search of a garbage dump in Dafter Michigan, just south of the Sault Michigan/ Sault Ontario border. Parts of Wesley’s dismembered body were recovered at that site.
Sault Ste. Marie police determined that Wesley was killed January 7th or 8th, 2011 during a house party attended by at least 15 people at 30 Wellington St. East. At the time of his death Wesley was 29 years old and father to his then 5 year old son.
The Courtroom was peppered with a smattering of people this morning – Wesley’s mother, Sandra, his sister, Shannon, and extended family, family of the accused and members of the Court were present. Sandra and Shannon were unemotional when Justice McMillan announced that a date for trial was to be set.
The three accused men appeared pleased with the announcement. Jocko and Mitchell had earlier presented high spirits from the prisoner box, rattling their shackles and laughing at the cacophony of it all.