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Brandon Phillips’ murder trial delayed until Wednesday

The people and the evidence that played a part in the murder trial of Brandon Phillips.
Brandon Phillips

Jurors dismissed while judge, lawyers deal with issues

The jury members in the murder trial of Brandon Phillips were back in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s Monday, but were dismissed for two days while the court deals with some issues without them.

Justice Valerie Marshall told the six women and six men she and the lawyers on both sides of the case need to address some legal issues before the trial can continue. The jury is scheduled to be back in the courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

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Crown prosecutors Mark Heerema and Shauna MacDonald rested their case against Phillips after their 16th witnesses, bartender Janet Hutchings, wrapped up her testimony last Thursday.

Defence lawyers Jeff Brace and Mark Gruchy were scheduled to begin making their case Monday.

Brace and Gruchy have not said how many, if any, witnesses they will call to testify.

Phillips’ mother was among those in the courtroom for the brief proceedings Monday.

Phillips, 29, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, wearing a disguise with the intention to commit a crime, and possessing a weapon dangerous to the public in connection with the shooting death of 63-year-old Larry Wellman on Oct. 3, 2015.

Wellman and his wife had been patrons in the bar of the Captain’s Quarters hotel on Kings Bridge Road when a masked man armed with a sawed-off shotgun entered and demanded money from Hutchings, who was behind the bar. Wellman attempted to intervene and was shot in the thigh, and later died in hospital.

 

Tara.bradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: tara_bradbury

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