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Supreme Court Justice Vikas Khaladkar asks for help to determine how to proceed with Colin Wheeler case

Corner Brook lawyer Andrew May has been asked to determine if Colin Wheeler's court case should be declared a mistrial or if it should continue to proceed with sentencing him for assault with a weapon and mischief.
Corner Brook lawyer Andrew May has been asked to determine if Colin Wheeler's court case should be declared a mistrial or if it should continue to proceed with sentencing him for assault with a weapon and mischief. - Gary Kean

The judge who has taken over the court proceedings involving Colin Wheeler has asked for some help in how to proceed.

Justice Vikas Khaladkar presided over Wheeler’s matters when they were called in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Corner Brook Tuesday morning.

Wheeler had been convicted of assault with a weapon and mischief by Justice George Murphy in June following a trial. However, during a sentencing hearing in August, Wheler was disruptive and made comments that have since led to him being charged with uttering threats and attempting to provoke fear in both Murphy and Crown prosecutor Lori St. Croix, who had prosecuted him at trial.

With both Murphy and St. Croix now listed as complainants in outstanding charges filed against Wheeler, the prosecution has been turned over to Crown prosecutor Adam Sparkes, and Murphy has recused himself as the judge hearing the case.

Wheeler is not represented by a lawyer.

Khaladkar’s first order of business Tuesday was to inform Sparkes that he would be asking for an amicus curia, Latin for a friend of the court, to analyze the unusual situation this case is now in and to offer an opinion about how to properly proceed.

Khaladkar indicated that the options are to declare a mistrial and to conduct a new trial or to continue proceeding with the sentencing.

Wheeler, who appeared via teleconference from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. Johns, continued to be disruptive during both occasions his matters were called Tuesday. During the second occasion, Khaladkar asked for Wheeler’s microphone to be muted so he could not make any further interruptions but could still hear the court proceedings.

Corner Brook lawyer Andrew May has been tasked with the amicus curia duty and will provide the court with his legal opinion of the case’s status Nov. 6.

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