Polygamy trial delayed again

Winston Blackmore and James Oler were in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Thursday, Sept. 1 as part of the ongoing saga on polygamy charges.

  • Sep. 6, 2016 3:00 p.m.
Winston Blackmore (pictured) and James Oler were back in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Thursday

Winston Blackmore (pictured) and James Oler were back in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Thursday

Two Creston-area men were back in Cranbrook Supreme Court last Wednesday in an ongoing saga over polygamy charges.

The B.C. Ministry of Justice approved the charges against Winston Blackmore and James Oler in August 2014.

The matter was delayed again by Justice T. Mark McEwan as Blackmore’s defence counsel announced he was unable to continue representing his client.

Justice McEwan and Peter Wilson, Crown counsel for the matter, discussed the option of appointing an amicus — someone who assists the accused when they’re not eligible for legal aid.

The case was pushed back till Oct. 17th for another hearing in Vancouver, while discussions also included shifting the upcoming trial to Nelson, which has a more modern courthouse than Cranbrook, according to Justice McEwan.

The issue dates back to 2005, when the RCMP first began investigating allegations of polygamy in Bountiful, south of Creston.

In 2011, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the polygamy law is constitutional after the province appointed three special prosecutors to pursue charges.

However, another RCMP investigation resulted in the current charges for Blackmore and Oler, along with other child-related charges for other individuals from Bountiful.

Those charges are being prosecuted in a separate trial that is set to begin in Cranbrook on Oct. 24th in Cranbrook Supreme Court.