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.

Just Posted

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Campbell River School District calls for report on buses and seat-belts

Parents have questions following expose on research around buses and safety

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read