FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Leon Wokeley has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Pamela Napoleon nearly four years ago.
Wokeley appeared at an arraignment in Fort St. John this afternoon where he pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, arson, and indignity to human remains in connection with Napoleon’s death, which occurred in 2014. Her and Wokeley were last seen together on July 8, 2014, leaving the Blueberry First Nations. This was the last time that Napoleon was seen alive. After her family reported Napoleon missing later that month, her body was discovered in a burned-down cabin near Buick on August 4th of that year.
At Wednesday’s arraignment hearing, Wokeley’s defence lawyer Georges Rivard told the judge that his client was pleading not guilty to all three charges, and has elected to have the trial heard by judge alone in B.C. Supreme Court.
“That’s his constitutional right, and basically he’s entitled to challenge the evidence,” said Rivard. “So that’s why he entered to plead not guilty.”
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Rivard also said that his client would be waiving his right to a preliminary hearing where Wokeley would be able to challenge some of the evidence gathered by police, and to instead proceed directly to trial. Rivard said that his client decided against the preliminary hearing and to proceed directly to trial to avoid any further delays.
Wokeley’s next court appearance is set for Monday, June 11th, at 10:00 a.m., when a date for the trial will be set.