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Judge tells Grand Forks man accused of theft to guard his personal property

Edward ‘Joe’ Wright is accused of a break and entering at a flood-damaged property in North Ruckle

The break and enter trial against Edward (Joe) Wright will continue despite the accused’s recent court absence that nearly resulted in a mistrial, the city courthouse heard Tuesday, April 6.

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A re-scheduling delay nearly sunk the proceedings against Wright, charged with breaking in to a North Ruckle shed in August 2019. The accused didn’t turn up for trial on March 9, when his defence lawyer was due to cross-examine witnesses.

“Mr Wright, I want to impress on you that if you want to have a lawyer act for you, then you have an obligation to speak with your lawyer, and to show up for court appearances, by the way,” Judge Philip Seagram said.

Wright said he would do his best to keep in touch with his lawyer moving forward but qualified that, “someone keeps stealing my cell phone,” to which Seagram advised him to guard his personal property.

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Wright’s lawyer is due to appear at Nelson provincial court on Tuesday, April 13, when a judge will fix a date to resume the accused’s trial.

Wright is meanwhile accused of mischief under $5,000, stemming from an alleged theft in Grand Forks in July 2020, the court heard. He and co-accused Kyle Lafond pleaded not guilty to that charge Tuesday morning, according to court documents. Both are due to be arraigned at the city courthouse Tuesday, May 4, Seagram said.

Wright also faces an assault charge stemming from an alleged offence in Grand Forks last October. He and co-accused Preston Cline are due to stand trial for that case at Grand Forks provincial court in November.

Wright and Cline have pleaded not guilty to the assault, according to court documents.



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