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Sagmoen decision due

UPDATE: 4:38 p.m.

The voir dire hearing in the trial of Curtis Sagmoen involving an incident from 2017 was wrapped up Thursday afternoon after final arguments from Crown and the defence.

Details of the voir dire testimony and arguments are protected under a temporary publication ban enacted on Monday.

Justice Alison Beames said court will resume on Monday at 10 a.m. to hear from media lawyers on the first against the publication ban of this voir dir hearing. Beames also strongly hinted that she might have her decision on the voir dire Monday as well and confirmed that both the Crown and the defence were available for that possibility.

Dates being floated for the continuation of the trial proper are the weeks of Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, but Beames said they would stay in contact in case new dates opened up to move on to other voir dires and the trial.


UPDATE: 3:18 p.m.

Crown lawyer Simone McCallum finished her argument to council in the voir dire hearing on the Curtis Sagmoen case before the afternoon break.

Defence lawyer Lisa Helps is due to present her final arguments after the break at about 3:30 p.m.

It's not known how long Justice Alison Beames will deliberate before making her decision. Because of the temporary publication ban on details emerging from this voir dire, we are not able to report on testimony until the judge decides on extending the ban during a hearing on Monday morning.

We'll update when the session concludes.


UPDATE: 12:44 p.m.

Testimony in the voir dire hearing at the Curtis Sagmoen trial concluded in the morning session Thursday.

Crown lawyer Simone McCallum and defence lawyer Lisa Helps are expected to make their final submissions in the voir dire at 2 p.m., and Justice Alison Beames is expected to make her ruling shortly afterward.

After someone from the gallery made derogatory comments directed at Sagmoen after court went on the record in the morning session but before the judge entered court, Helps respectfully requested Justice Beames issue a reminder of required decorum during court sessions.

Beames addressed the gallery warning that those not following the rules would be removed from court.

The hearing resumes at 2 p.m.


UPDATE: 11:26 a.m.

The morning session at Vernon Supreme Court was a continuation of the voir dire hearing in the Curtis Sagmoen trial from Wednesday.

Details of the voir dire are still protected by a temporary publication ban.

There was a delay because the Crown misplaced an item, but the hearing is moving at a brisk pace otherwise.

This hearing is still expected to conclude today.


ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

Wednesday was full of surprises and delays, which pushed the voir dire in the Curtis Sagmoen trial into a fourth day today.

In the morning Wednesday, Global News filed an intention to fight the publication ban of details presented during this voir dire, catching both Crown lawyer Simone McCallum and defence lawyer Lisa Helps by surprise. Global requested specific items be made public in their request.

Sagmoen pub ban fought

Sagmoen hearing continues

Global's application was on top of the earlier application from CBC News to lift the voir dire ban entirely. Publication bans on voir dire hearings are relatively standard in jury trials, but less so in judge-only trials. Sagmoen requested the judge-only option in January of 2018.

Castanet will be back in court for the expected conclusion of this voir dire hearing Thursday.

Based on scheduling discussions, it's possible the trial proper may not happen until early December.

Background

The charges in this case stem from an incident in August 2017 near Falkland where a sex worker alleges she was threatened with a weapon before she managed to escape.

Sagmoen has been behind bars since his arrest in September 2017.

In October 2017, police searched a farm owned by Sagmoen's parents on Salmon River Road near Silver Creek where they found the remains of Traci Genereaux.

No connection between Genereaux and Sagmoen has been made and he is not facing any charges relating to her death.

Police have called Genereaux's death suspicious.

Other allegations of violent acts against women by Sagmoen have also been made and on Feb. 4 Sagmoen pleaded guilty to an assault charge stemming from an incident in the Lower Mainland in 2013.

Sagmoen was originally charged with assault causing bodily harm in an attack on a sex trade worker in Maple Ridge, but entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.



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