An Ontario truck driver found guilty of killing a woman in his Edmonton hotel room has applied for a mistrial, which could mean yet another trial in the high-profile case.
A sentencing hearing that was to start Tuesday for Bradley Barton was postponed. Lawyers are to return to court Wednesday to continue discussing the application, but there is a publication ban on its details.
In February, a jury convicted the 52-year-old Barton, who is from Mississauga, Ont., of manslaughter in the death of Cindy Gladue. The 36-year-old Metis and Cree woman was found dead in a bathtub at the Yellowhead Inn in 2011.
Barton testified that he had paid Gladue for sex, but the trial heard she had four times the legal limit of alcohol in her system and she bled to death from a severe wound in her vagina.
Two jurors were excused before deliberations. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Stephen Hillier was notified one jury member had expressed that working in the sex trade was “bad” and that Gladue would have lived had she not exchanged sex for money with Barton.
Another jury member was excused, the trial heard, because he was trying to sway the opinion of other jurors.
It was the second trial for Barton. A jury in 2015 found him not guilty of first-degree murder.
The acquittal sparked rallies and calls for justice for Indigenous women across the country. Both the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a new trial.
Barton’s lawyer, Dino Bottos, told reporters outside court Tuesday that if the judge agrees to a mistrial, it would essentially cancel the second trial.
“It did not result in a verdict and that provides the Crown the prerogative of prosecuting the accused another time.”
He added that the defence came into possession of a document that caused “concern” following the verdict.
Bottos said he can’t discuss the contents of the document due to the publication ban.
Barton remains in custody. After the conviction, court was told he would not be applying for bail for financial reasons.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
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