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Robert Steven Wright in North Bay court today for new charges

Wright told the court he had secured Toronto lawyer Joseph Wilkinson and will be back in court Feb. 28
Robert Steven Wright.

Facing new charges, convicted Renée Sweeney killer Robert Steven Wright appeared virtually in a North Bay courtroom today from that city’s jail.

The show cause hearing was Wright’s second appearance since being charged by North Bay Police criminal harassment, forcible confinement and two counts of sexual assault from incidents predating his Sudbury murder conviction. 

Appearing 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. 

Both Wright’s partner and his parents were also in attendance virtually. 

Wright is now being represented by Toronto lawyer Joseph Wilkinson. A lawyer from Wilkinson’s firm, Aditi Iyer, was on hand for Wright’s appearance. She told the judge the firm has filed a designation, as well as asking for disclosure in the case. 

The Criminal Code allows lawyers, paralegals, and articling students to appear "by designation" for routine court appearances, like this one. Disclosure refers to the process and rules governing the exchange of information between Crown and defence to prepare for legal proceedings.

In order for these matters to be addressed, Iyer requested an adjournment to Feb. 27, which was moved to Feb. 28 as per North Bay court’s schedule.

Wilkinson was retained by Wright soon after his second-degree murder conviction in the death of Renée Sweeney, and is the lawyer who filed a notice of appeal in the case, though the appeal itself has not been filed as yet.

Wright was sentenced to life in prison for Sweeney’s murder, with parole eligibility set at 12 years. Justice Robbie Gordon told the court his decision considered the more than 4.5 years Wright spent in custody since his arrest, which translates to six years with pre-trial custody credit considered.

Iyer also told the court that since Wright had been transferred from Joyceville institute, near Kingston, to the North Bay Jail, there was a need to obtain a Crown letter in order for him to be transferred back. Crown and defense were asked by the judge to make that happen. 

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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