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Sweeney murder trial postponed after Wright contracts COVID-19

Wright hospitalized with COVID-19 following outbreak at Sudbury Jail
Robert Steven Wright. (Supplied)

Robert Steven Wright has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Wright is accused of the brutal murder of Renee Sweeney in 1998. He was arrested Dec. 11, 2018 at the North Bay Regional Health Centre.

He was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the charge was downgraded to second-degree murder.

Wright was 18 at the time of the killing, a resident of Sudbury who was attending Lockerby Composite School.

The accused's defence lawyer, Michael Lacy, told the court Wright contracted COVID-19 during the outbreak at Sudbury Jail.

Furthermore, new tentative trial dates have been set for Sept. 12, 2022 and would continue until Oct. 17, 2022.

Pretrial motions are scheduled for March and April.

Lacy told the court pretrial motion dates were canvassed for January 2022, with a potential trial date for the spring, however, his schedule did not allow for those dates to happen.

The lawyer said part of the reason for the delay is because he has only been Wright’s lawyer for less than four weeks, but “we are working together to make sure we can get the pretrial motions adjudicated in a timely way before a trial judge.”

Wright’s former lawyer, Berk Keaney, resigned due to a conflict of interest.

The matter will return Dec. 7 for assignment court.