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Bail hearing set for accused in Sweeney case

Robert Steven Wright is charged with 1998 murder of LU student
Robert Steven Wright, who is charged with the 1998 murder of Renée Sweeney, will have a three-day bail hearing Feb. 19-21. (File)

The man accused of the 1998 murder of Renée Sweeney will likely find out next month whether he will receive bail.

Robert Steven Wright, 39, was in court Thursday morning via video from the Sudbury Jail. His lawyer, Michael Venturi, confirmed a three-day bail hearing for his client will take place Feb. 19-21.

In a shocking development in the decades old case, Wright was arrested Dec. 12 and charged with murdering Sweeney, who was a 23-year-old LU music student.

She was working at an adult video store on Paris Street at 11 a.m. on Jan. 27, 1998, when she was attacked and stabbed to death. 

Wright was an 18-year-old high school student at Lockerby Composite at the time Sweeney was killed. He was arrested at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, where he worked as a laboratory technician.

He's being represented by Venturi and Berk Keaney, who has handled several high-profile trials in the city in his career. Police have not said why they believe Wright is the killer, or how they found the evidence to arrest and charge him.

A publication ban on evidence related to the case has been imposed, although no evidence from either side has been presented in court as of yet.

Wright returns to video court Jan. 17 for an update on his case.


Darren MacDonald

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