Ottawa woman's plea struck down, murder trial ordered
An Ottawa woman accused in the death of a local chef is facing a new charge Thursday in a surprising legal twist.
Jennifer Bird had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the fatal New Year's Day 2011 stabbing of Ottawa’s Simon Hubbard and was waiting to be sentenced on Thursday.
Instead, the Crown said they couldn’t agree to the facts of the case because of new evidence.
"In essence, for a judge to receive a guilty plea of any offence, there has to be agreement in respect to the facts and evidence that substantiates that guilty plea," said Crown attorney Kevin Phillips. "We were unable to come to an agreement of that here."
The judge then struck down the manslaughter plea and ordered a new second-degree murder trial for Bird, who was making money as a sex worker at the time of Hubbard's death.
"It's not unheard of," said Phillips. "In a murder it is unusual, but it is the right thing to do."
"The plea being struck just means that we'll gave to go through the process again in Superior Court, which is disappointing from Miss Bird's point of view because she wants to have this matter resolved," said Jeffrey Langevin, her defence lawyer.
"She wants some closure, she's already apologized to the family, she feels remorseful about what happened."
Bird will be in court to face the new charge Friday, Nov. 2.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem