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Judges reserve decision in Wright’s fourth bail attempt

Robert Steven Wright appeared for a fourth bail hearing, scheduled when Wright succeeded in his appeal application after he was denied bail a third time in January
Renee Sweeney murder, renee sweeney murder suspect, Robert Steven Wright, Robert Wright, Steven Wright

Robert Steven Wright appeared in court March 10 for a fourth bail hearing after successfully appealing when he was denied bail for a third time in January.

Three Justices from the Ontario Court of Appeals presided, Justice Peter Lauwers, Justice Lorne Sossin and Justice Gladys Pardu; they reserved their decision to be released in the coming days.  

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

Associate Chief Justice of Ontario J. Michal Fairburn granted Wright’s leave to appeal. The reasons for the decision are covered by a publication ban.

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

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.

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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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