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Robert Steven Wright denied bail for a third time

He is charged with second-degree murder in the 1998 stabbing death of Renee Sweeney

Robert Steven Wright has been denied bail a third time.

Superior Court Justice Patrick Boucher delivered his decision Monday morning. He dismissed the application, stating any material change in circumstances, as filed by Wright and his counsel, wasn’t sufficient.

There is a publication ban in effect, so none of the evidence can be made public in this case.

Wright, who is now 42 years old, is charged with second-degree murder in the 1998 stabbing death of Renee Sweeney. He has been in custody since he was arrested in December 2018.

Wright’s lawyer, Michael Lacy, was seeking a bail review hearing, citing a material change in circumstances. A publication ban prevents any evidence from being discussed in the media.

Boucher told the court he will be releasing a written document containing his reasons for dismissing the application by Jan. 18.

Wright was scheduled to start his second-degree murder trial in May of last year, but it was delayed due to concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It was then scheduled to start in October, but it was postponed when Wright hired a new lawyer, Michael Lacy, who needed time to catch up on the case. 

His former counsel, Berk Keaney, declared a conflict of interest in the case, leading to the search for new counsel.

Wright then contracted COVID-19 during the outbreak at the Sudbury Jail. He was hospitalized as a result.

A new tentative trial date has been scheduled for September 2022. Pretrial dates have also been set for the week of March 21 and April 25.

Wright was 18 at the time of the murder and was a student at Lockerby Composite School. 

He was arrested while working at North Bay Regional Health Centre.