Election for Blackmore and Oler trials postponed again

The decision for four members of the Bountiful polygamist community to be tried by judge or jury was put off in Creston Law Courts

  • Jan. 30, 2015 4:00 p.m.
Winston Blackmore with eight of his daughters and one granddaughter outside Creston  Law Courts during an Oct. 9 appearance.

Winston Blackmore with eight of his daughters and one granddaughter outside Creston Law Courts during an Oct. 9 appearance.

Brian Lawrence/Creston Valley Advance

The decision for four members of the Bountiful polygamist community to be tried by judge or jury was put off in Creston Law Courts Thursday  morning by Judge Ron Webb.

Winston Blackmore, James Oler, Brandon Blackmore and Emily Blackmore were to select their choice of trial today, having previously appeared in court Dec. 9 for the same purpose.

“We’re making good progress in advising Mr. Blackmore as to his options,” said Winston’s lawyer by phone.

Winston, who did not appear, and Oler lead separate factions in Bountiful, and were charged in August with polygamy, the indictment alleging Blackmore has 24 wives and Oler four.

Crown counsel Tom Arbogast explained there are “multiple terabytes of disclosure” to go through while the decision is being made.

“It’s a fairly unwieldy process,” he said.

The election date for Winston and Oler’s trial was moved to March 26.

Oler, Emily and Brandon have been charged with unlawfully removing a child under 16 from Canada with the intent that an offence of a sexual nature would be committed outside Canada. Their election date was put off until Feb. 26; Oler plans to be working in Athabasca, Alta., and will appear by phone.

“We do have some concerns about this matter getting dragged out,” said Arbogast.

Also today, Emily asked to have her passport returned so that she can shop in the U.S., mainly for herbs; she took the herbal practitioner course at Creston’s College of the Rockies.

“We have spoken to the RCMP and there’s a belief there could be a flight risk,” said Arbogast.

She and Brandon are charged with “wrongful removal of a child from Canada,” he added, and it is believed they have an “extensive network of contacts in Utah and Arizona.”

“I have responsibilities,” responded Emily. “I’ll return.”

COTR instructor Rachel Beck stood up on behalf of Emily.

“Her commitment to her family is so strong,” said Beck, who offered to act as surety if the passport is returned.

Webb asked Emily to present material on Feb. 26 showing him reason to return the passport, saying that shopping in the U.S. made the passport “nice to have as opposed to compelling.”

Winston and Emily previously appeared in court Dec. 4 to say they had retained counsel. Oler, whose faction is said to keep close ties with the followers of Warren Jeffs in the U.S., sent a similar message through Crown counsel. They initially appeared Oct. 9 without counsel, after being charged in August.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Incumbent MLA Tom Shypitka is contesting Kootenay East for the BC Liberals. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shypitka named opposition critic for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

The Kootenay East MLA has held the energy and mines portfolio since 2017

Item no 22, De-Kieviet Kindergarten class - Highlands, Starting Bid: $20
Christmas Village 2020 school auction items

The annual Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are the auction items from local schools

File Photo
Missing hunter found dead in South Country

A hunter was reported as overdue on Nov. 29, and was found deceased on Nov. 30 following an RCMP and SAR operation

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP seeking driver of burnt out car found on HaHa Creek Road

Cranbrook RCMP are looking for the driver of a vehicle that was found on fire Monday

The bids for the 2020 Christmas Village are open as of noon on Thursday, November 26. Please scroll through this album to see auction items available for bidding.
Christmas Village 2020 auction items

The Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are all the details

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read