Juror with COVID-19 symptoms puts deliberations on pause in Winnipeg homicide trial

WINNIPEG — The jury was expected to begin deliberating Wednesday in the second-degree murder trial of a Winnipeg man accused of killing a foster home manager.

Instead, they were sent home and told to self-isolate because one of the jurors is showing COVID-19 symptoms. 

“The jury manager was contacted by one of the jurors,” said Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews. “He may have certain symptoms that cause concern.”

Toews said the juror is being tested for COVID-19. 

“Clearly, I’m not prepared to proceed with just the 11 (jurors).”

The judge told the 11 jurors to self-isolate for the day. They may be asked to return as early as Thursday. 

Toews also said the court is seeking advice from Public Health.

“I don’t think there is anything for you to be concerned about,” he said. 

Jurors have kept their distance throughout the trial and worn masks. The Bible is wrapped in plastic and sanitized between witnesses. 

Kane Moar, 23, has pleaded not guilty to fatally stabbing Ricardo Hibi, 34, on December 17, 2018.

This is one of the first homicide trials in Manitoba since the courts reopened and highlight the challenges of getting the justice system moving again during the pandemic. 

This is a developing story. More to come.

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