WINNIPEG — A murder trial in Manitoba will continue with 11 jurors after one was discharged because he was showing COVID-19 symptoms.
Kane Moar is charged with second-degree murder in the 2018 stabbing death of 34-year-old Ricardo Hibi.
Deliberations were to begin Wednesday but were delayed after the juror was turned away at the courthouse and went to be tested.
The other jurors were sent home and advised to self-isolate until the man’s test results are complete.
Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the jury Thursday he received advice from public health that it is safe and prudent to continue.
Toews says even if the juror tests positive, it doesn’t mean the remaining jurors would need to self-isolate given the steps taken in court, which include physical distancing.
“It is not prudent to wait any longer,” said Toews.
Moar, 23, is accused of killing Hibi at the foster home he ran for boys.
Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.
They resumed in Manitoba earlier this month with Moar’s trial.
The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre, there has been physical distancing in courtrooms and masks became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Toews said Wednesday that he was optimistic that jurors would soon hear his charge in the case before beginning deliberations on a verdict. (CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.
The Canadian Press