Nunavut man facing murder charge may wait until 2014 for trial
No trial date set yet in case of Peter Kingwatsiak of Cape Dorset, accused of killing Mappaluk Adla in 2010
Nearly three years have passed, but a trial date has still not been set for a Cape Dorset man who faces a charge of first-degree murder in the 2010 death of his stepbrother in Cape Dorset.
Peter Kingwatsiak, 18, at the time of the incident, has been waiting in preventive custody for a trial on the murder of his stepbrother, Mappaluk Adla, who was found shot to death Sept. 20, 2010 in Cape Dorset.
Now it looks as if Kingwatsiak may have to wait almost another year.
Along with the first-degree murder charge, Kingwatsiak also faces one charge of breaking and entering and committing an offence.
At the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Aug. 26, before Justice Bonnie Tulloch, Crown prosecutor Paul Bychok and defence lawyer James Morton said they are each still waiting for the availability of expert witnesses before moving ahead with a trial.
They have been unable to reach Bychok’s expert since June.
The lawyers tried to set a trial date, but that has been postponed until Sept. 9 in hopes that the lawyers can pin down the availability of the experts.
The suggested trial dates include January 2014 or July 2014.
If the July option is chosen, Kingwatsiak will have waited 46 months — nearly four years — for a trial.
Morton said he’s worried about his client’s right to be tried within a reasonable time. To speed up the judicial process, he proposed that the trial take place in Iqaluit instead of Cape Dorset.
But the trial must happen in Cape Dorset because of “strong community interest,” Bychok said. Justice Tulloch agreed.
Bychok said the trial would last one week and that he would call three Crown witnesses.
Kingwatsiak appeared in court wearing a prison-issued blue sweat pants and a blue tee shirt. He crossed his arms and rested them on the defence lawyer’s desk for most of the hearing.
Adla was found shot to death Sept. 20, 2010 in Cape Dorset. The Nunavut RCMP’s major crime unit was afterwards flown in from Iqaluit to investigate.
His death was one of many violent incidents that took place in Cape Dorset in the fall of 2010, when three people in the community died.
That prompted MLA Fred Schell to call on airlines to help control the flow of alcohol into communities. He also bought trigger locks for firearms owners in the community who didn’t have them.