Ron Bull/Torstar News Service


Lon Appleby leaves court yesterday with his notebooks in hand, happy he didnt have to hand them over during a murder trial.


A freelance journalist who wrote an article about a murder case has avoided handing over his notes by taking the stand to simply confirm the accuracy of what he wrote.

Lon Appleby, 45, a Toronto-based writer and documentary producer, was subpoenaed by the defence to testify in pre-trial motions in the case of Rodger James, charged with first-degree murder in 1996.

Under a compromise worked out yesterday in front of Superior Court Justice Brian Trafford, Appleby was given advance warning about which portions of his article defence lawyer Colin Adams would pose questions.

Appleby was then was able to refresh his memory by looking at his nine notebooks outside court before taking the stand.