Arrest warrant issued for man who failed to show for trial

Gary
Gary Kean
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A man with a history of issues concerning his legal representation in court on serious charges now has an arrest warrant issued for him.

Joshua Aaron Bennett of St. George’s is on trial for 11 offences, stemming from an incident that allegedly started with reports of him repeatedly colliding a vehicle he was driving with another vehicle in Corner Brook in May 2011.

Bennett, 26, was later arrested in Stephenville Crossing. He was charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and single counts of common assault, hit and run, uttering threats, unlawful confinement, mischief and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Police also reported seizing $14,000 worth of cocaine and crack cocaine and an undisclosed amount of money from Bennett. He was charged with possession of a controlled drug or substance for the purposes of trafficking for that.

He is also charged with three counts of breaching a recognizance.

Since his arrest, Bennett has had two lawyers decide to no longer represent him.

He has reportedly been living in British Columbia since not long after his arrest and subsequent release from custody on bail. In November 2011, he had indicated he wanted the charges to be transferred to B.C., but was not willing to enter guilty pleas as a condition of having the charges moved to another jurisdiction.

Bennett was still hoping to have the drug offence moved to B.C., but entered not guilty pleas to the other charges in April 2012 and the matter went to trial last September.

The trial started but ended up being adjourned, through no fault of Bennett’s.

Since then, the second lawyer to represent Bennett informed the court she would no longer be representing him.

The last time the matters were called in provincial court in Corner Brook, Bennett appeared via telephone from B.C. and was told he had to be present in court in person for the resumption of his trial, which was set to continue Thursday morning.

When the matter was called Thursday, Bennett was not present and neither was a lawyer to represent him.

Provincial Crown attorney Lori St. Croix was ready to proceed with the trial Thursday morning and federal Crown attorney Adam Joyce was present for a status update on the drug charge. With no indication as to where Bennett was, the warrant for his arrest was requested and granted.

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Stephenville Crossing, British Columbia B.C.

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