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Juror contracts COVID, delays Wright murder trial

Trial is postponed until Monday morning
Sudbury court house

The trial of Robert Steven Wright came to an abrupt halt today (March 16)  as a juror tested positive for COVID-19 and must isolate. The other jury members, who have been in close quarters throughout the trial, will self-isolate through the weekend. 

Arrested in 2018, Wright is on trial for the second-degree murder of Sweeney, who was stabbed 27 times while working at a video store on Paris Street on Jan. 27, 1998. At the time, Wright was an 18-year-old student at Lockerby Composite School, which was within walking distance of the store where Sweeney worked.

Wright testified on Monday (March 13) and Tuesday (March 14.) He stated he found a bloodied Sweeney lying on the floor of the store, and believing she was already dead, he said he panicked and ran. 

He also admitted the fingerprints in Sweeney’s blood that were found on a cash tray at the scene were his, as were the teal jacket and gloves that he later testified to discarding after running from the store. They were discovered by police.

Upon learning a juror was positive for COVID-19, Justice Robbie D. Gordon brought the jury into the courtroom and told them of the new development. 

“You will have no doubt noticed that you are down a person,” said Gordon, before explaining that a juror had a dental appointment, at which point they tested positive for COVID-19. 

“You had contact with her yesterday,” said Gordon, “So we’re going to adjourn.”

He instructed the jury members to monitor their systems, self-isolate for 24 hours — or more if they have symptoms — and to stay home until the symptoms had improved for 24 to 48 hours. 

“Go home, monitor yourself. If you have any symptoms, make sure you isolate. We'll see you Monday morning,” said Gordon. 

Court will resume on Monday, March 20 at 10 a.m.

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter at


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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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