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No date set for Wokeley murder trial

The Fort St. John Law Courts and Provincial Government office. Photo by Chris Newton
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — No date has yet been set for the second-degree murder trial of Leon Wokeley, who is accused of murdering a Blueberry River First Nations woman just over four years ago.

Wokeley appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Fort St. John via video link for this morning’s hearing, during which a date for the trial was supposed to have been set.

However, lawyers representing Crown Counsel told the Court that though both the Crown and Wokeley’s defence lawyer Georges Rivard have been communicating via email since a pretrial conference late last month, the two have not come to an agreement on a date for the trial, which is expected to last up to 10 weeks.

The Court heard that a possible start date for the trial could occur in June or July of next year.

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Madam Justice Diane MacDonald also signed a publication ban application by the RCMP’s lawyer for the evidence that was collected against Wokeley by undercover RCMP operatives.

The details of the RCMP’s undercover investigation will be subject to a voir-dire, or a “trial within a trial” to determine whether it will be admissible as evidence.

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In addition to second-degree murder, Wokeley is also facing charges of indecency to human remains and arson in connection with the death of 42-year-old Pamela Napoleon, whose body was found inside a burned-down cabin near Buick on August 4th, 2014.

At an arraignment hearing in May, Wokeley pleaded not guilty to all three charges he’s facing, electing to go to trial by judge alone.

The case has been adjourned until a pretrial conference on Tuesday, September 18th at 9:00 a.m. at the Fort St. John courthouse, when a trial date may be set.

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