VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Victim's stepmom won't attend trial
She feels frustrated that a court ruled the accused will face two trials instead of just one
Monday, January 15, 2007
Marilyn Kraft doesn't plan to attend the trial of Robert (Willie) Pickton, which begins Jan. 22.
CREDIT: Vancouver Sun, Family photo
Cindy Feliks is believed to have been a victim in the Port Coquitlam pig farm killings. Felik's stepmother, Marilyn Kraft, is not planning to attend the two trials resulting from the case.
Pickton has been charged with a murder count related to Kraft's 43-year-old stepdaughter, Cindy Feliks, who was last seen in 1997. But the charge relating to Feliks is among the 20-count indictment that will be dealt with at a second trial.
Kraft remains disappointed by the court ruling last summer to divide the 26 murder charges against Pickton into two trials, with the first trial to hear evidence related to a six-count indictment.
"I'm still frustrated and disappointed," Kraft said recently from her Calgary home. "I think they should have done the first trial with 26, and so do the other families."
The trial judge decided that a trial on all 26 counts would be an unreasonable burden on the jury because the evidence would be too complex and take too long.
Although the government has offered to pay Kraft's travel and accommodation expenses so she can attend the first Pickton trial for five days -- an offer made to all the families of the alleged murder victims -- Kraft doesn't plan on attending, unless she happens to visit Vancouver.
"If I'm in Vancouver, I might drop in [to the trial]," she said. "If I do, it will be near the end [of the trial]."
Kraft said she keeps in contact with Rick Frey, whose daughter Marnie Frey is one of the missing women named in the indictment to be dealt with starting next Monday. So she'll keep up with the trial proceedings through Rick Frey and his wife, Lynn, she said.
Asked if she plans to follow the media reports of the evidence as it unfolds at the first trial, Kraft said: "Very much so."
She is, however, skeptical that there will be a second trial if the prosecution is successful at the first Pickton trial.
Among those planning to attend the opening day of the trial is Ernie Crey, whose sister Dawn Crey disappeared in 2000.
"I'll be there and I'll probably take in a number of days," Crey said.
Although he attended Pickton's preliminary hearing in 2003, he doesn't anticipate it will be any easier hearing the evidence to be presented at trial, which he expects will be emotional for himself and many other families.
"I think it will be especially difficult," he said, adding there will be a different dynamic at trial than a preliminary hearing because the defence will likely take a more active role in cross-examining witnesses.
The trial will begin with the Crown's opening -- a detailed outline of the evidence to be presented at trial, which is expected to last 12 months.
The judge decided Friday to allow the defence to make an opening statement after the Crown, mainly because it would enhance the fairness of the trial, which is expected to be unusually long.
Once the Crown closes its case, the defence will have the opportunity to present its evidence to answer the allegations contained in the Crown's indictment.
Although the Crown must disclose its entire case to the defence, there is no requirement for the defence to disclose its case to the prosecution. After the defence closes its case, the Crown may choose to call rebuttal witnesses to counter the evidence of the defence.
Prelude to Pickton Trial
© The Vancouver Sun 2007
Many of the 26 women Robert Willy Pickton is accused of killing appear in a police poster as mug shots...
Updated: August 21, 2016