Constitutional arguments in the case of Winston Blackmore, a polygamous leader near Creston, B.C., have been delayed until December in Cranbrook Supreme Court. Trevor Crawley photo

Constitutional arguments in the case of Winston Blackmore, a polygamous leader near Creston, B.C., have been delayed until December in Cranbrook Supreme Court. Trevor Crawley photo

Constitutional challenge in polygamy case delayed

Legal process for fundamentalist Mormon leader found guilty of polygamy grinds to a halt.

Constitutional arguments in a landmark polygamy case have been adjourned till December after lawyers haggled over delays in filing court documents.

Winston Blackmore, who was found guilty of polygamy earlier this year, filed noticed that he would be raising a charter challenge following the conclusion of the Crown’s case in April.

Blackmore, the polygamous leader of a fundamentalist Mormon community near Creston, was found guilty in July, along with co-accused James Marion Oler, who was also charged with polygamy.

READ: Bountiful leaders found guilty of polygamy

However, since the notice, there has been a few different versions of affidavits circulated informally to crown attorneys by Blackmore’s lawyer, Blair Suffredine, along with missed filing deadlines to the court registry.

Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor appointed by the provincial government to litigate the case, expressed his frustration with missed deadlines after opening the court session by asking Justice Sheri Donegan to adjourn the hearing.

“I’m in a position where, under normal circumstances, I would object but understand Mr. Blackmore is entitled to his day in court,” said Wilson.

Justice Donegan agreed.

“This is an important case and fairness is integral to the entire process,” she said.

After indicating he would not be bringing forward a constitutional challenge before the trial process in April, Suffredine reversed course and signalled his intent to file a notice of application at the conclusion of the Crown’s case.

From there, there have been ongoing complications in missed deadlines for affidavits as well as an agreed statement of facts.

Justice Donegan adjourned the hearing over until the week of Dec. 11, where lawyers will return to Cranbrook Supreme Court.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Summerland affordable housing proposal opposed

“For a building that will change the dynamic of a small town, I would have expected more discussion.”

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Summerland’s municipal council will proceed with a four per cent property tax increase this year, but the deadlines for property tax payment have been extended. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland councillor’s letter to media draws disappointment from colleagues

Statements about solar project did not violate ethical or conduct standards

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read