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Man charged in Toronto subway homicide case appears in court

Last Updated Jul 17, 2018 at 11:57 am EDT

John Reszetnik, 57, appears in a courtroom in College Park in Toronto on June 19, 2018. He is accused of pushing another man to his death in the TTC subway. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

A man accused of pushing a 73-year-old man in front of a Toronto subway train has had his case put over for a month during a brief video court appearance.

John Reszetnik, 57, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Yosuke Hayahara.

Crown attorney Sean Doyle told the court his office has turned some evidence over to the defence and expects to have the rest of it submitted before the case returns to court on Aug. 14.

“Substantial disclosure is being reviewed now,” Doyle said. “We expect it to be disclosed in the next week or so.”

Reszetnik, unshaven and wearing a white sleeveless shirt, appeared by video from a Toronto jail, and spoke briefly with his lawyer.

Police say Hayahara was hit and killed by a train on June 18 after Reszetnik allegedly shoved him off the platform at Bloor-Yonge station, where two of the city’s primary transit lines connect.

Investigators have said they do not believe the two men knew each other or had any interaction with each other before the incident.

Reszetnik has had multiple minor interactions with police in the past, Det. Rob North said the day after his arrest last month.

Police have not confirmed, or ruled out the possibility, that mental health issues may have contributed to the incident but will continue to delve into Reszetnik’s personal history, North said at the time.

The TTC has said the last intentional pushing death on the subway took place in 1997.

The accused in that incident, Herbert Cheong, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for pushing 23-year-old Charlene Minkowski in front of an oncoming train.

Psychiatrists called by the defence and the Crown testified that Cheong had schizophrenia and had an “abiding dislike” of women. Cheong was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.

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