The Calgary teenager charged in an alleged murder-for-hire plot won’t find out until next week if he will be released pending trial.
Youth Court Judge Gay Benns on Wednesday heard lengthy submissions from Crown prosecutors Rob Bassett and Janice Walsh as well as defense counsel Vignesh Pillai on whether the teenager should be released on bail.
At Pillai’s request, Benns ordered a publication ban on the proceedings covering the lawyers’ submissions, any evidence presented and the judge’s reasons for granting or refusing the application.
The judge adjourned the proceedings late Wednesday with the Crown still wanting to cross-examine a defense witness.
After this is done next Wednesday, Benns has indicated that she will give a decision on whether the accused can be released.
The prosecutors are seeking the defendant’s detention on an allegation that he advised someone to commit murder and for his earlier release on unrelated charges he was already facing at the time of his arrest on the murder-for-hire allegation.
The 16-year-old was arrested by Calgary police in June. Along with the counseling charge, he faces charges of violating a court order and possession of marijuana.
The teenager was already in juvenile court on other charges of assault with a weapon – a knife – uttering threats and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
After the youth’s arrest in June, police said they received information on May 13 from a citizen who claimed they had been approached by a teenager who asked them to kill another youth in exchange for payment. Police did not indicate what the alleged payment would be.
In September, Bassett told the court that the prosecution would seek a capital sentence on the charge related to the alleged murder-for-hire plot.
The maximum adult sentence for the offense is life in prison, while the most severe sentence he faces as a juvenile would be two years in custody and a year of supervision.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts