Justin Bennett has been convicted of second-degree murder in the beating death of Ivy Wick in 2017
The sentencing of convicted child killer Justin Bennett has been put on hold pending a potential mistrial application by his latest lawyer, which won’t proceed until at least next May.
Victoria lawyer Gregory Lazin told court Tuesday he’ll need months to prepare materials to support a mistrial application before Justice Blair Nixon.
You are reading: Sentencing of convicted child killer further delayed as lawyer considers mistrial application
Nixon set a hard deadline of Feb. 28, for that to be filed and has given Crown prosecutors Tom Spark and Sue Kendall until April 28, to reply before a hearing can be held to determine if Bennett was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Bennett was convicted by Nixon in March, 2021, of second-degree murder in the death of Ivy Wick.
Lazin said he’s been working diligently on a potential mistrial application since being appointed by Legal Aid, dedicating 90 per cent of his practice to the case.
Readmore : Suspects sought after TTC bus operator shot with BB gun
While he didn’t say what the nature of his mistrial application, Spark indicated the Crown expects Bennett to allege his trial lawyer, Allan Fay, didn’t properly represent him.
As a result, the prosecutor asked that Lazin file a written consent from Bennett waiving solicitor/client privilege so Fay can be interviewed about his dealings with his former counsel.
Bennett indicated in court he would be willing to waive privilege.
Before granting Lazin’s adjournment, Nixon questioned whether delaying Bennett’s sentencing hearing for such a long period of time would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
But Lazin said any member of the public with the full knowledge of the complexity of the case would understand why it is necessary.
While they didn’t set a date for the actual mistrial hearing, it won’t be held until at least May, 2023, and could go later into next year, meaning Bennett’s sentencing wouldn’t take place for more than two years after his conviction.
Readmore : Photos: Karen Bass becomes first woman elected mayor of L.A.
Nixon convicted Bennett in the Oct. 5, 2017, death of Ivy, finding his confession to an undercover officer during a so-called Mr. Big operation to be compelling.
Bennett admitted assaulting the three-year-old while her mother was showering in their northeast Calgary apartment.
The judge rejected defence arguments that Ivy’s mother, Helen Wordsworth, may have been responsible for the child’s brain trauma that caused her to be hospitalized on Sept. 27, 2017.
Despite efforts by staff at Alberta Children’s Hospital, Ivy never regained consciousness and died more than a week later.
Bennett, who faces an automatic life sentence with only parole ineligibility to be decided, remains in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts