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Auditor General urged to suspend ‘distracting’ lawyer

Ontario’s attorney general is being urged to suspend a Crown attorney whose distracting behaviour may have scuttled the second prosecution of a mother accused of killing her toddler.

Ontario’s attorney general is being urged to suspend a Crown attorney whose distracting behaviour may have scuttled the second prosecution of a mother accused of killing her toddler.

The province’s chief prosecutor is looking into the incident, but the Opposition Conservatives say Attorney General Chris Bentley should suspend Crown lawyer Paul Alexander immediately.

And NDP critic Peter Kormos says Bentley has to move quickly because the case has not only embarrassed his government, but Ontario’s criminal justice system.

Bentley won’t say whether Alexander is still working on cases and has referred all questions to the chief prosecutor.

Alexander took a seat in the front row during the trial and his behaviour distracted jurors to the point where the judge is prepared to declare a mistrial.

Both sides will return to court today to see if the trial can be salvaged by proceeding with the judge alone.

Alexander prosecuted the first case against Erika Mendieta, who is accused of killing her young daughter Emmily in 2003, but was not involved in the second trial.

Last week, the jury sent a note to Justice Nola Garton asking that a man sitting in the front row, who turned out to be Alexander, be removed from the court. It even included a diagram that identified where he was sitting.

 
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