See also Site Map
Unless the otherwise noted, the reports below were written by M. Monastyrskyj, CELOS researcher.
Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at The Beer Store at 323 Symington Avenue. Police found two suspects in the area of Wallace Avenue. One of the suspects fired at the police and one officer, Rob North, was struck in the forehead with a shotgun pellet. Police arrested two suspects, Craig Buckle, 29 and Jeron Powell, 32. Buckle was charged with:
1) Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence
2) Three counts of Robbery While Armed with a Firearm
3) Disguise with Intent
4) Possession of a Firearm with Ammunition
5) Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
6) Unauthorized Presence of a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle
7) Possession of a Firearm Contrary to Prohibition Order
Buckle and his co-accused Powell were scheduled to appear in courtroom 101, Old City Hall, but no one from CELOS was present.
A court clerk in room 250 (2nd floor Old City Hall) tells CELOS Buckle will be appearing in courtroom 101 at 10am on Wednesday January 28.
Buckle is on the 10am docket in courtroom 101. When court begins, duty counsel tells the JP that only five or six prisoners have arrived so far because there is a work slowdown at the Don Jail. Court recesses at 10:30 for half an hour while it waits for more prisoners to arrive. At 11, one guard asks another if Buckle is here. He is. A lawyer asks the guards to bring Buckle in because "he's going over." Court breaks for lunch before Buckle appears.
When court resumes at 2pm, Jeffery Levy, a Crown attorney from the guns and gangs unit, tells the court he's here to deal with the Buckle case. He tells the court he would like Buckle to return on Monday, because there's an immigration hold on him and the Crown may be laying new charges. Levy notes that Buckle is "under three prohibition orders." Buckle wants to come back on Friday. The JP decides to bring Buckle back on Friday.
I speak to Levy briefly after he leaves the courtroom. I ask him about the immigration hold. He doesn't know what country Buckle was born in.
Buckle is on the 10am docket in courtroom 101. When court starts, the Crown attorney, Jeffery Levy, asks about Buckle. He's told Buckle hasn't arrived because there's a lockdown at the Don Jail. Levy asks if there will be some point when the guards will know for sure whether any prisoners will be brought over. The guards can't say.
Buckle is on the 2pm video docket in courtroom 111. However, there is a problem at the Don Jail where Buckle is in custody. When I ask one of the uniformed court officers what the problem is, he says he doesn't know but he thinks the jail is in lockdown. While the court waits to see if prisoners at the Don will be appearing, it deals with people who were scheduled to appear at 9am but who arrived late as well as with people who are scheduled to appear in person at 3. At 3:25pm, I'm the only person left in the "body of the court" (i.e. the public benches). The justice of the peace looks at me and asks the lawyers, "Is he just observing?" I nod yes.
Finally at 3:30, the JP says "Let's get through the 2pm list." The JP and the lawyers go one by one through all the names on the list. In each case, a bench warrant with discretion is issued and the accused is assigned a new appearance date. When Buckle's name is called, the Crown attorney on duty, Delgado, says there is disclosure waiting for pick up. Duty counsel (a lawyer paid by the provincial government to be in court for people who have come without one) says Buckle's lawyer has left a message. The defence has not been able to arrange a pre-trial with a Crown named McNaughton. Delgado, says the Crown assigned to the case is Hepbourne, not McNaughton. During the brief discussion about when to bring Buckle back, Delgado says "One would think counsel would want to pick up disclosure." The JP issues a bench warrant with discretion and orders Buckle to appear by video in 111 at 2pm on Wednesday April 15.
Buckle is scheduled to appear at 2pm by video in courtroom 111, but CELOS isn't there, because the CELOS researcher is attending a preliminary hearing in another courtroom.
Buckle is on the 2pm video docket in courtroom 111. He appears at 2:45. A student is there to speak on his behalf. She tells the court Buckle fired his lawyer on the weekend and has filed for legal aid to pay for his new laywer. A judicial pre-trial conference (JPT) is scheduled for April 24. The Justice of the Peace orders Buckle to appear by video in 111 at 2pm on Monday May 4.
Buckle is on the 2pm video docket in courtroom 111. He appears at 2:40. Duty counsel has a message from Buckle's lawyer. Buckle is still in the process of retaining the lawyer. The defence wants Buckle to come back to 111 on May 11. The Crown attorney on duty, Colleen Hepburn, says she spoke to Buckle's previous lawyer Robert Nuttal. She says Nuttal is "ready and able" to give the new lawyer Buckle's disclosure. Someone notes that a scheduled April 24 judicial pre-trial conference (jpt) was vacated at the request of the defense. Justice of the Peace Cresswell tells Buckle to have his lawyer come in to pick up the disclosure. Cresswell says if the lawyer doesn't come in Buckle will have have to come in to appear before a judge. Cresswell orders Buckle to come back 111 on Monday May 11.
Buckle is on the 2pm video docket in courtroom 111. He appears at 2:15. A student says her law firm has not been retained yet but will be soon. The JP orders Buckle to come back to 111 at 2pm on May 25.
Buckle is on the 2pm video docket in courtroom 111. He appears at 2:25. Buckle's new lawyer hasn't been retained yet. Also, the defence still hasn't picked up disclosure from Buckle's previous lawyer. The Crown attorney, Normandeau, notes that an April 20 judicial pre-trial conference (JPT) was cancelled because of Buckle's decision to change defence counsel. Normandeau appears upset by the delay. The Justice of the Peace tells Buckle to come back to 111 by video at 2pm on Monday June 8, 2009.
Buckle is on the 2pm video docket in courtroom 111. He appears at 2:35. An articling student from Buckle's defence counsel is in court. The student says there have been "issues in terms of legal aid" and that this "has been going on for some time." The student asks Buckle if he sent his contribution agreement to legal aid. Buckle says he has. The student tells the Justice of the Peace (JP) that it will take about two weeks to hear back from legal aid. The Crown attorney on duty, Normandeau, points out that a scheduled judicial pre-trial conference (JPT) in April was cancelled because Buckle changed lawyers. Buckle tells the JP, "Two weeks should be OK mum." The JP tells Buckle to come back to 111 by video at 2pm on Monday June 22, 2009.