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Pickton trial still a long way off

Evidence analysis delays setting of trial date

Canadian Press

Monday, June 28, 2004

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. - The man accused of being Canada's worst serial killer probably won't face a trial until the spring of 2005 -- three years after he was first charged, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

CREDIT: Global BC

It has been two years since police began gathering evidence at a Port Coquitlam farm property co-owned by alleged serial killer Robert 'Willy' Pickton. But the analysis is still underway, and a trial date has not been set.

Robert Pickton made a routine court appearance via video-link from the B.C. facility where he is being held.

No further charges were laid, although the Crown has said seven more are expected, meaning Pickton will face at least 22 counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of women who disappeared from Vancouver's gritty Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

Lawyers told Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm on Monday they are still analysing exhibits taken from the pig farm Pickton co-owns. That may take until the fall.

Defence lawyer Peter Ritchie said the defence is ready to proceed. "We wish to proceed. Mr. Pickton wants to get his trial on as soon as possible," he said.

But he agreed with the Crown that there is still a lot of work to be done in preparing the case.

Pickton's next court appearance is set for Dec. 20. A trial date may be set at that time.

Police swooped down on Pickton's pig farm in February 2002.

More than 60 women from the Downtown Eastside have disappeared since the 1980s. Most were sex-trade workers and drug addicts.

Investigators wrapped up a mass excavation and search of the property just east of Vancouver last November.

 The Canadian Press 2004

CANADIAN PRESS

 

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Updated: August 21, 2016