HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Crown Says Motion will be moved to remove the defense attorney for a Nova Scotia man on trial for second degree murder.
Last month the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a new trial against Randy Riley, convicted in 2018 of the murder of 27-year-old Donald Chad Smith on October 23, 2010.
Smith was found nearby with a gunshot wound to the upper right side of his body and his red pizza delivery bag.
Crown spokeswoman Chris Hansen said prosecutor Peter Craig told a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge Thursday that he wanted Riley’s attorney removed from the case.
Halifax defense attorney Trevor McGuigan represented Riley at his original trial and had been appointed to represent him at the upcoming hearing.
Hansen declined to comment on the reasons the Crown is seeking the removal of McGuigan from the case, saying the Crown awaits a disclosure ban on the December 14 trial.
Hansen said Riley was due to come to a hearing on December 18 to set a new trial date.
During the trial in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in 2018, the Crown called a witness who admitted he had pulled the trigger and said Riley was not involved, but the trial judge warned jurors not to consider the evidence .
The caution is referred to in legal terminology as a “vetrovec warning,” where a judge suggests to a jury that evidence comes from a witness who is unsavory and indecent.
Riley appealed his case to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeals, arguing that the warning was inappropriate and damaged the defense case. A majority of the appeals court’s judges upheld his convictions, while a dissenting judge said he had rescheduled.
The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided last month to uphold Riley’s appeal and order a new trial.
Riley has been in jail since his arrest in July 2013.
His original trial followed on December 4, 2015, the conviction of Nathan Johnson for the first degree murder of Smith’s death. Court heard at the original trials that the two men were together on the night of the murder.
According to the complainant’s submission to the Supreme Court, Johnson testified during the trial of Riley that he was a drug dealer and wanted to collect a debt from Smith the night of the murder.
Both the Crown and Defense agreed in their submissions to the Supreme Court that Johnson said during cross-examination that he was the one who shot the victim and that Riley had nothing to do with the murder.
However, this evidence contrasted with Johnson’s earlier testimony that he had told his girlfriend Riley that he had been involved in the murder, as the Crown noted in its remarks.
This Canadian press report was first published on December 3, 2020.