After many delays, the double-murder trial of two Cherry Brook men is underway.
The trial of Jerrell Johnston and Nathaniel Sparks began slowly, with
police outlining how they arrived at a North Preston address two years
ago to find blood stains and bullet cartridges on the ground.
Brandon Beals, 21, and Martaze Provo, 25, were shot to death outside an
after-hours club on Upper Partridge River Road Dec. 10, 2006. Johnston
and Sparks are accused of second-degree murder in their deaths, and of
attempted murder in the shooting of Vantino Beals, who survived.
The trial has already faced several delays. The original judge, Nova
Scotia Supreme Court Justice Gerald Moir, had to step down for health
reasons. Justice Felix Cacchione is now hearing the case.
Two jurors also had to be replaced because of possible conflicts of
interest involving knowing people in contact with the defendants.
Adding to all that was the violent weather last week, which shut down
the courts for a day and delayed the jury selection process.
The prosecution elected not to make an opening statement to the jury.
The trial is scheduled to run four days per week for a month.
Both of the accused are originally from Cherry Brook but were living
out west when they were charged. Johnston was living in Edmonton while
Sparks was in Vancouver.