Skip to content
Jobs | Contact | Tip line: 705-673-0123

"We need to get this case in the system": Judicial pre-trial scheduled for EcoLife owner

Five months later, fraud matters moving ahead for embattled contractor
141119_ecolife-dave-murray
EcoLife Home Improvements owner Dave Murray made a brief appearance in court Wednesday morning to have his 45 charges of fraud spoken to. (File)

EcoLife Home Improvements owner Dave Murray made a brief appearance in court Wednesday morning to have his 45 charges of fraud spoken to.

It has been more than five months since Murray made his first appearance on July 3 for 23 counts of fraud - 20 counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of fraud under $5,000.

Dec. 11 was Murray's first scheduled appearance on a second set of fraud charges - 14 counts of fraud over $5,000 and eight counts of fraud under $5,000, and Wednesday's appearance was used to combine both the first 23 counts with the more recent 22 counts.

Crown attorney Patrick Travers was brought in from Toronto to speak to the matters due to it being "a complicated matter."

"There's a conflict in this case as one of the complainants works at the local (Crown) office, so an outside Crown was brought in to deal with this," said Travers.

Murray appeared without defence counsel Wednesday, and though he has been granted legal aid in this matter he has still not retained a lawyer.

The Crown and Justice John Keast agreed to a judicial pretrial for Murray on Jan. 7, where the Crown, defence lawyer, police officer in charge of the case and a judge will discuss and negotiate the case.

Keast was stern when addressing Murray in the courtroom Wednesday, advising him to get to work on retaining counsel or at the very least bring forth any efforts to retain counsel to the JPT in January.

"We've got to get this case in the system," said Keast, referring to the more than five months that have passed since Murray's first appearance in July.

Judicial pretrials are not open to the public or media and the matter could potentially be resolved behind closed doors if the crown and defense are able to come to an agreement on a settlement that the judge endorses.

Murray already has one trial scheduled for the new year on a matter of theft and trafficking of stolen property, with a trial date set for May 12.