Winston Blackmore, a polygamous leader associated with Bountiful, near Creston, was found guilty of practicing polygamy in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Trevor Crawley photo)

Polygamous leader to launch charter challenge

Winston Blackmore back in Cranbrook Supreme Court to argue guilty finding in polygamy case.

One of Canada’s most prominent polygamist leaders will be back in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Tuesday to launch constitutional charter arguments after being found guilty of polygamy in July.

Both Winston Blackmore and James Marion Oler were found guilty of one count of polygamy by Justice Sheri Donegan, however, convictions were not formally entered as Blackmore raised a constitutional charter challenge after her ruling.

READ: Bountiful leaders found guilty of polygamy

Blackmore and Oler are connected to the polygamous community of Bountiful, which was founded by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), who believe that plural marriage is necessary to attain the highest level of celestial glory.

Blackmore is seeking a stay of the conviction and will argue that the evidence used against him was evidence collected before a landmark constitutional reference case in 2011 that upheld the criminal definition of polygamy as detailed in Section 293 in the Canadian Criminal Code.

Because the evidence was collected before 2011 — before it was unclear whether polygamy was a crime that breached charter rights contained in the constitution — the conviction should not stand, said Blair Suffredine, following Donegan’s ruling.

Whether Oler will bring forward the same charter arguments is unknown at this time.

Blackmore and Oler were charged with polygamy in August 2014 by Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor appointed by the BC government.

Evidence brought to trial included testimony from former Bountiful members, FLDS church records seized by law enforcement in Texas in 2008, and experts on mainstream Mormon religious practices and church history.

Just Posted

Former B.C. gangster arrested for drug operation in India

Jimi Sandhu, deported in 2016, accused of owning drug-manufacturing facility

Mainroad begins their chip seal program

Submitted Mainroad crews are performing their chip seal program over the next… Continue reading

UPDATED: Torch lit in Cranbrook to start countdown to BC 55+ Games

The Kimberley/Cranbrook 2018 55+ BC Games will take place Sept. 11-15

Closing arguments heard in sex assault trial

Crown and defence lawyers argued two vastly difference scenarios in the closing… Continue reading

The Great Sam Steele Parade of 2018

Crowds pack new downtown route to see massive parade unfurl, Saturday, June 16

The fabulous, fantastic, famous Wiener Dog races

One of the showcase attactions of Cranbrook’s Sam Steele Days festival are the Wiener Dog races — thrills and chills galore!

EDITORIAL: All children created equal

There are still some who justify President Donald Trump’s treatment of migrant children

BC Ferries posts strong earnings before rate cuts

Last year highest ever for vehicle traffic, most walk-ons in 20 years

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Snapchat used to make mass shooting threat in Kamloops

RCMP did not dub the threat a hoax, instead called it “unsubstantiated”

B.C. groups file response to government’s fight against solitary confinement

B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended ruling for one year to give government time to draft legislation

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

BC conservation officers release badger from wolf trap

Badger recovering after being caught in trap near Williams Lake

B.C. Christian school mulls covenant, future of law school after court ruling

The university still wants to open a law school, but is looking at its options.

Most Read