COVID-19 wreaking ‘havoc’ on Robert Clifford murder trial, judge says – CBC

Judge, defence lawyer both affected by virus

Jul 19, 2022

The Robert Clifford second-degree murder retrial has been hit with a COVID-19 curveball.

Clifford is accused of killing his estranged wife Nichole in February 2017. The young mother of two suffered 17 stab wounds in her Wainwright home.

Clifford was found guilty in February 2021, but a mistrial was declared last June and a new trial was ordered.

On Monday, Clifford’s lawyer argued that the murder charge should be stayed because the case has been before the courts for almost five years.

The judge reserved his decision and the plan was to begin hearing retrial evidence on Tuesday.

But first thing Tuesday morning, defence lawyer Timothy Dunlap advised the court that his co-counsel, Curtis Mennie, has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Yesterday during my submissions he was coughing,” Dunlap said. “After we were done, we were walking out to the vehicle and he didn’t look good.”

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