Judge admits mistake to Pickton trial jury
It was a day of runaway emotions for families at the Robert William Pickton murder trial as the jury returned for the first time in six days with a question that prompted the judge to suspend deliberations then order them to begin again.
Justice James Williams caused a gasp of shock among families listening to the resumption of court when he told the jurors he had made a mistake.
"I regret that I misinformed you. It was inadvertent," said Williams after calling the jury back into the courtroom. "I was not sufficiently precise."
The jury returned with a question early yesterday after beginning morning deliberations around 9:15 a.m. They asked the judge a question about the threshold of culpability and court was reconvened.
It’s the first time the court has heard from the jury since they began deliberation late Friday night, a week ago today.
"It was very confusing about what was going on and there was a bit of panic," said Cynthia Cardinal, the sister of Papin. "We initially thought it meant they had a verdict and then we kind of got scared when we realized they had not finished deliberating and were just asking a question. I didn’t understand what they were asking."
In his instructions to the jurors, Justice James Williams told them there were five elements to consider in the six first-degree murder charges against Pickton. Justice Williams at first repeated his charge to the jury when he initially answered their question. But two hours later, the judge called the jury back with a revision.