Defence counsel for Eric Mearow, Ron Mitchell and Dylan Jocko appeared in Superior Court today to appeal the October 28th, 2013, ruling by Ontario Court Justice Andrew Buttazzoni that determined that there was enough evidence presented in the year-long preliminary hearing to commit the three co-accused on charges of first degree murder.
Anik Morrow; counsel for Mitchell, Ariel Herscovitch; associate of Derstine Penman, counsel for Mearow, and Bruce Wilson; counsel for Jocko appeared before Superior Court Justice M.G. Ellies to enter submissions. Crown Attorney, Bill Johnson, Assistant Crown Attorney Kelly Weeks and Toronto Crown Attorney, Paul McDermott were also present in the Sault Ste. Marie courtroom today.
A publication ban prohibits the reporting of any evidence heard at the inquiry.
In 2011, Mitchell, Mearow and Jocko were charged with first degree murder and being a party to indecently interfering with the remains of Wesley Hallam. Hallam’s decapitated and dismembered body was discovered in a deep ridge along Landslide Road on January 11th, 2011. It has been determined that Hallam was murdered January 7or 8th, 2011 during a house party at 30 Wellington St. East. The three co-accused have remained in custody since their arrests over three years ago.
However, for three women charged in the death of Hallam the legal process is over for two of the charged and almost over for a third woman.
On January 28th, 2013, twenty-two year old Jaclyn MacIntyre was found guilty of obstruction of justice by interfering with the police investigation of the murder of Hallam. The charge of accessory to murder was dropped after MacIntyre plead guilty to the lesser charge of obstruction. Ontario Court Justice Robert Villeneuve sentenced her to one-day, time served, (572 days in custody) and 12 months probation.
Melissa Elkin, 29 yrs., was also charged with indecently interfering with a dead body and accessory to murder after the fact. In November 2012, police withdrew those charges when Elkin plead guilty to obstructing justice. Ontario Court Justice Nathalie Gregson was satisfied that Elkin had served a sufficient amount of time and released her back into the community- time served.
On January 19th, 2013 Kayla Eli entered a plea of guilty before Ontario Court Justice, Nathalie Gregson, to willfully obstructing justice by concealing evidence from police and providing false information to the police in the investigation of Wesley Hallam’s death. In June 2013, Gregson imposed a nine month conditional sentence to be served in the community.
The co-accused were not present in court today however, Hallam’s mother, sister and grandmother were. For the past three years Hallam’s family have been diligent and patient as they observe the wheels of justice continue to spin ever so slowly.