Thursday April 24, 2014

Court Briefs: Man charged with murder to remain in custody

A 24-year-old man is slated to remain in custody until at least January after he made a first appearance Thursday on a murder charge.

Travis Aaron Johnny will return to court Jan. 23. He appeared briefly in provincial court Thursday.

RCMP announced this week that Johnny was arrested and charged in the death of Archie LePretre. The Vancouver man died after a group of three men allegedly attacked him in an elementary school yard in downtown Kamloops in March 2011.

Police said three men set on LePretre and his cousin, playing basketball at the time, with knives and baseball bats. The attack is thought to be gang-related. Two other men were arrested and released by RCMP.

Jury behind closed doors to consider murder charge

A 12-person jury began its deliberations at noon Thursday in the murder trial of 56-year-old Roy Fraser.

The jury will be sequestered, staying together and in hotels at night, until it comes to a verdict after a five-week double-murder trial.

Fraser is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Damien Marks, 31, and second-degree murder of Ken Yaretz Jr., 25.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ian Josephson began his instructions to the jury Wednesday and completed late Thursday morning. A draw was held and one extra juror, the 13th, was eliminated from the pool before deliberations began.

Lawyer appointed as Queen’s counsel

A Kamloops lawyer is one of 32 lawyers named as Queen’s counsel by the province on Wednesday.

David Bilkey, who practices civil and insurance law, was given the title by the province. He has taken more than 100 civil cases to trial and appeal.

Prior to insurance law, Bilkey represented residential school claimants, with contribution to the current adjudication process.

The QC designation is an honour conferred each year by the profession to recognize outstanding contribution. Recommendation is made to B.C.’s attorney-general, including from the B.C. branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

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