Penticton and South Okanagan
Application for mistrial denied
Oct 10, 2013 / 3:27 pm
An application for a mistrial in a South Okanagan assault case was denied in a Penticton courtroom on Thursday.
The application in the Brian Louie case to reopen the trial in order to declare a mistrial was first heard in July in Penticton.
Louie was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and assault causing bodily harm last December. The application was based on a conflict of interest, he and his lawyer Micah Rankin, claimed stemmed from the trial.
The conflict being that Louie's then lawyer James Pennington cross-examined a former client, Gregory Baptiste, on the witness stand and did so in a friendly manner. The situation so concerned Louie that he said he would not have let Pennington defend him, if he had known he was the lawyer for Baptiste.
In considering the application, Judge Meg Shaw said Pennington represented Baptiste six years ago on an entirely unrelated drug charge and there was full disclosure in court of the situation and crown and the accused did not object .
Furthermore, the witness was a peripheral witness who was not relied on for the verdict.
Shaw further denied another application for a conditional stay on the assault causing bodily harm charge.
The basis for the request by the defense being the two offences stemmed from one transaction, and there was only one wrongful act over a short timespan.
Crown counsel John Swanson argued, however, that the two counts were separate incidents.
In reviewing this application, Shaw said according to witnesses, Louie first committed the sexual assault, biting off a portion of the victim's private parts during a sexual act.
He then moved to the kitchen, while the victim continued to scream and cry for help. Next he returned to where the victim was and there was an altercation, followed by Louie dragging her down a short flight of stairs and leaving the house.
As a result, Shaw said, she found the incidents to be separate and distinct.
Louie, appearing by video from Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre, reacted angrily to the decisions.
He stood up in the small space he was in and said "It was a minute long, the whole time, it was all BS."
The assault in question took place on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve in May of 2012. During the December trial, a doctor described the woman's bite as a complex laceration.
Louie testified during the trial, he was not the villain or zombie everyone was making him out to be.
The matter is now moved to Oct. 16, to set a date for sentencing.
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