Constitutional arguments in the case of Winston Blackmore, a polygamous leader near Creston, B.C., have been delayed until December in Cranbrook Supreme Court. Trevor Crawley photo

Constitutional challenge in polygamy case delayed

Legal process for fundamentalist Mormon leader found guilty of polygamy grinds to a halt.

Constitutional arguments in a landmark polygamy case have been adjourned till December after lawyers haggled over delays in filing court documents.

Winston Blackmore, who was found guilty of polygamy earlier this year, filed noticed that he would be raising a charter challenge following the conclusion of the Crown’s case in April.

Blackmore, the polygamous leader of a fundamentalist Mormon community near Creston, was found guilty in July, along with co-accused James Marion Oler, who was also charged with polygamy.

READ: Bountiful leaders found guilty of polygamy

However, since the notice, there has been a few different versions of affidavits circulated informally to crown attorneys by Blackmore’s lawyer, Blair Suffredine, along with missed filing deadlines to the court registry.

Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor appointed by the provincial government to litigate the case, expressed his frustration with missed deadlines after opening the court session by asking Justice Sheri Donegan to adjourn the hearing.

“I’m in a position where, under normal circumstances, I would object but understand Mr. Blackmore is entitled to his day in court,” said Wilson.

Justice Donegan agreed.

“This is an important case and fairness is integral to the entire process,” she said.

After indicating he would not be bringing forward a constitutional challenge before the trial process in April, Suffredine reversed course and signalled his intent to file a notice of application at the conclusion of the Crown’s case.

From there, there have been ongoing complications in missed deadlines for affidavits as well as an agreed statement of facts.

Justice Donegan adjourned the hearing over until the week of Dec. 11, where lawyers will return to Cranbrook Supreme Court.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Ferries reopens limited hot food service between Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert

Release on July 8 says hot food will be served in packaging

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

UPDATE: Masset anti-racism rally postponed

The Yahk’ii event, which means ‘truth’ in Haida, will be rescheduled at a later date

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Registration open for first-annual ‘NextIslandpreneur’ student business competition

Competition offers mentors, iPads, seed money, cash prizes to young entrepreneurs on Haida Gwaii

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read