Sign outside of the Superior Court of Justice in Chatham, ON. Sept 25, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Lawyer For Dog Fighting Suspects Wants Charges Stayed

The two men accused of running a Tilbury dog fighting ring may not go to trial.

John Robert and Michel Gagnon were not in court on Monday, but are scheduled for a pre-trial January 18 and 19 and a trial March 28, 29 and May 7, 8, 10, and 11.

However, defence lawyer Ken Marley is filing two motions to have the 66 animal cruelty and weapons charges stayed and if he’s successful, the trial won’t happen.

Marley says there have been unreasonable delays in the case.

“It’s almost two years now since the arrests were made and the trial is not going to begin until next March. The pre-trial applications are in January,” says Marley.

Marley says Robert and Gagnon were not in court on Monday because they were not required, but the two men must attend court from now on. They’re also facing drug charges. Marley has a problem with the search warrants and wants some evidence excluded.

“My clients’ Section 8 of the Charter — their rights were violated. Section 8 is the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure,” Marley says.

Marley says it’s not unusual to get charges stayed because of unreasonable delay.

“There are criminal charges including serious homicide charges which have been stayed because of unreasonable delay and what that means is that the accused never gets put to trial. The charges just stop,” says Marley.