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Jury dismissed before Christakos trial starts

BY KEITH LACEY klacey@northernlife.ca Before hearing one word of evidence, the jury was dismissed in a case against a Sudbury man charged in connection with a drunk driving fatality on Ramsey Lake more than two years ago.
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BY KEITH LACEY

Before hearing one word of evidence, the jury was dismissed in a case against a Sudbury man charged in connection with a drunk driving fatality on Ramsey Lake more than two years ago.

After a bizarre day in court, Justice Patricia Hennessy of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice called in 12 jurors and two alternate jurors selected Monday and dismissed them.

Hennessy told the jury she couldn't divulge any reasons why they were being dismissed.

The judge said a new jury will be selected this coming Monday from the same pool of 200 who attended the Sudbury court earlier this week, and the trial against Michael Christakos will begin.

Christakos, 32, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges relating to a boating accident on June 22, 2003. Samuel Pisani, 23, was killed when two boats collided. Two other people were injured.

Christakos has pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death, two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, dangerous driving, impaired driving causing death, impaired driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

Hennessy ordered a publication ban on all the evidence presented in court Monday and Tuesday once the jury was selected.

Defence counsel Berk Keaney brought forward an application for a mistrial Tuesday. Keaney and assistant Crown attorney Len Walker presented arguments all day.

Hennessy did not officially declare a mistrial, but ruled the jury should be discharged. She will give reasons for her decision Thursday at 10 am.

Hennessy thanked the jurors for their patience in waiting in the jury room for much of Monday and all day Tuesday and for their brief involvement in this case.

The trial will proceed immediately once the new jury is selected as three weeks of court time had been set aside for this trial and much of the case can still be heard during this time once the new jury pool has been chosen, said Hennessy.



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