Hunt for remains could stall Cleroux trial
The ongoing hunt for more human remains in the backyard of an alleged serial killer could affect the hearing on whether there is enough evidence to bring him to trial.
This latest development, where human remains were found by a construction crew earlier this week, is raising questions about whether the preliminary hearing for Camille Cleroux should be stalled while archaeologists dig up the backyard of his former home.
Investigators said they have to identify the remains, determine if there's a link to Cleroux, and decide if his court proceedings should be put on hold.
"It all takes a certain amount of time and there's a very detailed examination," said Insp. Mike Callaghan of the Ottawa police. "They're ensuring they've got all the information and the experts are on scene to make sure they collect all the relevant information."
Cleroux is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, but police haven't located the bodies of two of his alleged victims – his former wives.
Criminal defence lawyer Norm Boxall said the hunt for remains is significant to the case, whether or not anything is found.
"In a case like this where there is a dramatic new discovery in the case of a preliminary, I would anticipate either the Crown or the defence or both would ask for an adjournment to look into it further," said Boxall, who isn't connected to the case. "So they would both be fully prepared so that by the time the preliminary is complete and there is a trial, that both sides would have full knowledge of all the evidence."
There is a publication ban in effect on the preliminary hearing, with information disclosed there potentially coming out at a trial. Preliminary hearings are held to determine if there's enough evidence to bring a case to trial.
Cleroux's case continues in Ottawa court on Friday.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem