CORNER BROOK — The legal battle for Joshua Aaron Bennett has once again hit a snag, this time though it should only be impacted by the loss of half a day.
Bennett was charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking when police arrested him in Stephenville Crossing in May 2011. Police reported seizing roughly $14,000 worth of crack cocaine and so much cash.
The accused has been looking to have the drug charge transferred to British Columbia, but was scheduled to go to trial on multiple other charges in relation to his arrest more than two years ago.
Police had been looking for Bennett, who was living in St. George’s, at the time. He was wanted in relation to a complaint regarding an alleged hit-and-run in Corner Brook. A car had reportedly repeatedly collided into another vehicle. He was also charged with two counts of assault with a weapon and single counts of assault, fleeing from the scene of an accident, uttering threats, unlawful confinement, mischief, dangerous operation of a vehicle, and two breaches of a recognizance.
After pleading not guilty to all but the drug charge in April of 2012, Bennett went to trial in September. However, after just one witness, the resignation of Crown attorney Michael Fox delayed its conclusion. It was called to continue Wednesday under prosecution of Crown attorney Ed Ring, but he was unable to proceed.
Ring asked for a delay until today, as he was the only Crown present in Corner Brook, and youth plea day was scheduled at the same time. He told Judge Catherine Allen-Westby he believed it to be more of a public interest to proceed with the youth matters, and delay Bennett’s matter by half a day.
Legal-aid lawyer Sandi MacKinnon consented, and the judge agreed. There is still two days allotted for the trial.
The witnesses are still under subpoena to appear in court today.