Demonstrators demand justice for Teddy the dog outside of the Duncan courthouse Friday morning. The trial was supposed to start its third day, but was postponed for two weeks. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Teddy the dog trial postponed for two weeks in Duncan

Defence counsel withdraws due to “personal tragedy”

The trial of Anderson Joe in the case of Teddy the dog has been postponed for at least two weeks.

The trial was expected to continue for its third day at the Duncan courthouse on March 15, but defence counsel Scott Sheets was unable to attend due to a “personal tragedy” and is requesting new counsel for Anderson Joe.

RELATED STORY: TEDDY THE DOG TRIAL WILL GO TO A THIRD DAY

Judge Mayland McKimm said he’s not prepared to declare a mistrial and that “alternate arrangements” must be made so that the case can continue.

“This trial will proceed as expeditiously as possible and will continue no later than two weeks from today,” McKimm said in the packed courtroom.

“We’ll meet again on March 19 to fix a date.”

Meanwhile, Melissa Tooshley, who had pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal in the same case earlier in the trial, has withdrawn her guilty plea.

Prosecutor John Blackman said new information has come forward that instigated Tooshley to withdraw her guilty plea, and the Crown is not opposed.

It’s expected she will stand trial on the same charges in a First Nations court in late April.

Anderson Joe is up on charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal and failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal.

If convicted, Joe could face a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in prison, a $10,000 fine and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.

The case has seen animal rights activists gathering in front of the courthouse on each day of the trial carrying signs demanding justice for Teddy, while others filled the courtroom to hear details of the trial.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN MP DEMANDS ACTION AGAINST ANIMAL ABUSE

In one of the most profoundly shocking and disturbing cases of abuse the BC SPCA has ever witnessed, special constables seized Teddy in critical distress from Anderson’s property on Feb. 16, 2018.

On Wednesday, local leaders stood united with Cowichan Tribes chief William (Chip) Seymour at the Cowichan Tribes band office to denounce the brewing racism that’s emerged as a result of the Teddy the dog trial.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VALLEY LEADERS STAND UNITED AGAINST RACISM

There have been reports of intimidation, harassment, fires set and even gun shots at houses on the reserve due to the high passions related to the trial.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria HarbourCats give away funeral to lucky fan

Just in case you die of excitment, all the bases are covered

Tofino Canada’s hot spot

This morning’s temperatures nation’s highest, Tuesday reached 23.5 C

Verdict gives murder victims’ parents sense of closure

A guilty verdict delivered earlier this week was “like a weight lifted off the chest.”

U.S. college bribery scandal shines light on serious problem in Canada

Looking at the bigger picture of marginalization in universities

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Most Read