The Stobbe case!
Spent the day at The Law Courts covering the Mark Stobbe trial along with a handful of other media reporters. Rather than regurgitating the online accounts already posted by The Winnipeg Sun, Winnipeg Free Press and CBC Manitoba we thought we'd provide some background not covered:
(1) British Columbia Lead Crown Prosecutor Wendy Dawson was very patient and considerate answering media questions, including ours, during a breaks in the proceedings. For us she explained in cases such as this, where a government employee is on trial, standard operating procedure is to bring in a Crown from another province to avoid any possibility of a conflict of interest or even the appearance of such
You may recall Provincial Judge Brian M. Corrin during February of last year was charged with 1-count of assaulting a family member (his Mother), as well as, 1-count of uttering a threat against said person. An Ontario Crown (Toronto) was brought in to prosecute that case
(2) RCMP Inspector Bruce Prange and expert witness in Crime Scene Investigations testified much of yesterday and today. He came equipped with several poster boards of the Stobbe home, surrounding area and family car where the body of Ms. Rowbotham was discovered in a Selkirk, Manitoba parking lot. Also included in his repertoire of evidence was a large binder containing 475 colour photographs documenting over 40 pieces of evidence discovered at the home and in the vehicle
One of the media reporters passed a note to Ms Dawson who, in turn, had the Court Clerk give it to presiding Queen's Bench Justice Chris Martin. It asked if a copy of the binder, of which jurors already had copies, could be provided to the media. His Honour agreed
(3) A special thank you to Mr. Tim Killeen (Killeen Rolston Wiebe) who along with Co-Counsel is defending Mr. Stobbe. At one point he asked the presiding Judge and witness if they could adjust their microphones as a couple members of the public had approached him indicating they were having trouble hearing. Although we were not one of them, this is a constant, ongoing struggle at The Law Courts involving witnesses, counsel and judges. Mr. Killeen has been most gracious in the past answering our questions
Tomorrow it's back to The Law Courts to listen to Justice Brenda Keyser's charge to the jury in the Michel Hince-Jerome Labossiere triple first degree murder trial in the deaths of parents Fernand, Rita and son Remi Labossiere. We will be particularly interested in Her instructions and the range of options she provides after which the jury will be sequestered to begin deliberating and we'll switch off to the Stobbe proceedings.
Clare L. Pieuk