Illness delays Tyler Hikoalok murder trial

Crown, defence expected to deliver closing submissions Thursday

The first-degree murder trial of Tyler Hikoalok was delayed on Wednesday due to an illness on the defence team. Hikoalok was charged in the 2018 killing of 59-year-old Elisabeth Salm in Ottawa. The Crown and the defence are expected to deliver their closing submissions on Thursday instead. (Courtroom sketch by Lauren Foster-MacLeod)

By Madalyn Howitt

An unexpected illness has delayed the first-degree murder trial of Tyler Hikoalok in Ottawa.

The Crown and the defence were scheduled to give their closing submissions on Wednesday, after nearly six weeks of witness testimonies and proceedings.

However, the lawyers will now deliver their closing arguments on Thursday after one reported feeling ill.

Judge Anne London-Weinstein is expected to give her charge to the jury on Friday before they begin deliberation.

Hikoalok, 22, originally from Cambridge Bay, is accused of killing Elisabeth Salm, 59, in 2018. On May 24 of that year, Salm was found severely beaten on the floor of the Christian Science Reading Room in downtown Ottawa.

She died the following afternoon at the Ottawa Civic Hospital from a traumatic head injury.

Hikoalok was arrested two days later, on May 27, and charged with Salm’s murder after security footage and DNA evidence taken from the scene linked Hikoalok to the attack.

The accused took the stand on Nov. 29 in his own defence and said he had blacked out from drinking during the time of the attack.

A forensic psychiatrist who examined Hikoalok later testified that the accused did not meet the threshold required to be considered not criminally responsible for his actions.


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