Demonstrators demand justice for Teddy the dog outside of the Duncan courthouse Friday morning. The trial was supposed to start its third day, but was postponed for two weeks. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Teddy the dog trial postponed for two weeks in Duncan

Defence counsel withdraws due to “personal tragedy”

The trial of Anderson Joe in the case of Teddy the dog has been postponed for at least two weeks.

The trial was expected to continue for its third day at the Duncan courthouse on March 15, but defence counsel Scott Sheets was unable to attend due to a “personal tragedy” and is requesting new counsel for Anderson Joe.

RELATED STORY: TEDDY THE DOG TRIAL WILL GO TO A THIRD DAY

Judge Mayland McKimm said he’s not prepared to declare a mistrial and that “alternate arrangements” must be made so that the case can continue.

“This trial will proceed as expeditiously as possible and will continue no later than two weeks from today,” McKimm said in the packed courtroom.

“We’ll meet again on March 19 to fix a date.”

Meanwhile, Melissa Tooshley, who had pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal in the same case earlier in the trial, has withdrawn her guilty plea.

Prosecutor John Blackman said new information has come forward that instigated Tooshley to withdraw her guilty plea, and the Crown is not opposed.

It’s expected she will stand trial on the same charges in a First Nations court in late April.

Anderson Joe is up on charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal and failing to provide the necessities of life for an animal.

If convicted, Joe could face a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in prison, a $10,000 fine and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.

The case has seen animal rights activists gathering in front of the courthouse on each day of the trial carrying signs demanding justice for Teddy, while others filled the courtroom to hear details of the trial.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN MP DEMANDS ACTION AGAINST ANIMAL ABUSE

In one of the most profoundly shocking and disturbing cases of abuse the BC SPCA has ever witnessed, special constables seized Teddy in critical distress from Anderson’s property on Feb. 16, 2018.

On Wednesday, local leaders stood united with Cowichan Tribes chief William (Chip) Seymour at the Cowichan Tribes band office to denounce the brewing racism that’s emerged as a result of the Teddy the dog trial.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VALLEY LEADERS STAND UNITED AGAINST RACISM

There have been reports of intimidation, harassment, fires set and even gun shots at houses on the reserve due to the high passions related to the trial.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo Gem and Mineral Show rocking all weekend

Event being held Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26, at the Legion Branch 256

Nanaimo-Ladysmith students put their robots to the test in competition

High school students problem-solved at VEX robotics tournament this week

Bus loop will now remain in downtown Nanaimo until the end of the year

Shelters installed at temporary Port Drive/Front Street transit exchange

Nanaimo man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

James Farkas breaks hip in fall from beach cliff, returns months later to save eagle on same beach

Nanaimo athletes win Island track and field championships

Every Nanaimo high school was represented at last week’s event

Nanaimo kindergarten teacher receives Prime Minister’s award

Departure Bay Eco-School’s Liz McCaw use of experiential learning methods earns her accolade

Nanaimo students press for action on climate change

Strike for Climate was held again Friday; students feel their concerns aren’t being taken seriously

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read