A spring trial for Robert Steven Wright, accused of killing Renee Sweeney, has been tentatively scheduled.
Five weeks have been booked for the jury trial, possibly beginning May 25, a date that will be confirmed Nov. 17 in Superior Court assignment court.
While the case has moved forward, the trial still has a chance to be held in another jurisdiction outside of Greater Sudbury.
In October, a judge dismissed a change-of-venue application from Wright’s defence team, which argued it is not possible to have an impartial jury in the northeast due to the widespread dissemination of information in the media and the public reaction to that information, both before and after Wright’s arrest.
After Justice Gordon Ellies denied the application, it was learned that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the jury trial might still have to be held elsewhere in order to proceed safely.
Wright was originally charged with first-degree murder and arrested on Dec. 11, 2018, while working as a lab technician at the North Bay Regional Health Centre.
In August 2019, a few months before a preliminary inquiry into the charge was set to begin, the Crown sought a direct indictment on the charge of second-degree murder, which was granted, effectively depriving Wright of his right to have a preliminary inquiry and going directly to trial on the charge.
Wright has been in custody since his arrest, despite several bail reviews.