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Defence still awaits disclosure in new Wright trial

The man convicted for the 1998 murder of Sudbury woman Renée Sweeney is facing new charges in North Bay while serving a life sentence
Robert Steven Wright.

Robert Steven Wright appeared before Justice Alain Perron in North Bay court this morning, with a representative for his lawyer noting the defence had not yet received his accuser’s statement in disclosure. 

Wright was charged on Dec. 14, 2023, with one count of criminal harassment, two counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement. He is already serving a life sentence, with parole eligibility after 12 years, for the second-degree murder of Sudbury woman Renée Sweeney in 1998. 

In court Feb. 28, a representative of his lawyer Joseph Wilkinson, said the defence has yet to receive the complainant’s statement. 

“We've received some initial disclosure, we're still waiting on some standard disclosure, including the complainant statement,” said Aditi Iyer. “Most notably, we sent a request on Jan. 31. We followed up again last week.” 

On Jan. 3, when Wright appeared in North Bay court before Justice Erin Jane Lainevool, Crown Attorney Terri Regimbal asked the judge to issue a publication ban on the names of the complainants and any identifying information, which was granted. 

Iyer said in court today once the disclosure is received, the case will proceed to a Crown pre-trial (CPT) 

The Crown pre-trial allows the accused and their lawyer to speak to the Crown outside of a courtroom setting.  It is usually held after disclosure to allow for fulsome discussion, and the main goal is for the accused to learn what evidence may be raised at trial, or, if desired, for them to resolve their case with a guilty plea and a sentencing recommendation. 

Iyer requested Perron bring the matter back to the court on March 27, after disclosure and the CPT had taken place. 

Perron asked the Crown attorney Regimbal, “Do you think it'll (the disclosure) be there before March 27, and that gives you enough time to also do CPT before March 27?”

Regimbal said it would, and Perron approved the adjournment. 

Wright appeared virtually, as did his partner and parents, who have been at each court appearance. 

Wright retained Wilkinson, a Toronto defence attorney, soon after his murder conviction. Wright was represented Michael Lacy, another Toronto lawyer, during his murder trial, however it was Wilkinson that filed Wright’s notice of appeal on the murder conviction. The appeal itself has yet to be brought to court. Wilkinson is also representing Wright on these new charges.

North Bay police confirmed to there was an investigation in December. A release was issued the next day,  Dec. 14. 

“Criminal investigators from the North Bay Police Service received information from the Greater Sudbury Police Service in regards to a historical sexual assault that had occurred in North Bay between 2015 and 2016,” it reads. “The accused, who is currently serving a life sentence in Kingston, Ontario, was informed of the new charges, and remains in custody.”

Wright is next in court on March 27, appearing virtually to “discuss the next steps” of his case. 

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with

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Jenny Lamothe

About the Author: Jenny Lamothe

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with She covers the diverse communities of Sudbury, especially the vulnerable or marginalized.
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