Suspect in New Year's manslaughter case appears in court - Metro US

Suspect in New Year’s manslaughter case appears in court

Ryan Leeds stared stoically at the floor of a Halifax provincial courtroom yesterday as his defence lawyer and the Crown attorney set a date for a bail hearing.

The 24-year-old Halifax man is charged with manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Nathaniel Welsh.

According to Halifax Regional Police, Welsh was punched during an altercation outside a New Year’s Eve party at the St. Mark’s Community Centre on Russell Street and fell to the ground.

Police responded to the scene shortly after 1 a.m., and Welsh was transported to the QEII Health Sciences Centre with life-threatening injuries. He never regained consciousness and succumbed to his injuries Saturday.

According to police spokeswoman Theresa Rath, no weapons were used in the fight and no other suspects are being sought.

Leeds turned himself over to police early Sunday evening and has been in custody since. He was charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of breaching recognizance late Monday afternoon.

During his first court appearance yesterday, Leeds’ lawyer, Trevor McGuigan, requested that his client’s bail hearing be postponed until tomorrow, when more information about the circumstances of the incident would be available.

“We’d like to have as much disclosure as possible before going ahead with the bail hearing,” McGuigan told reporters outside of court.

“I know that there are at least a couple of statements that have been taken by police, which I don’t have, so, once those are available, I’d like to have those.”

Leeds is before the court on another matter in March as he’s facing charges stemming from an incident last April, including dangerous driving and assault with a weapon.

As for the victim, he was due in Dartmouth provincial court Jan. 26 on a dozen charges, including break and enter, assault and uttering threats.

Leeds has been remanded to the Burnside jail pending his bail hearing tomorrow afternoon.

Family members were present in court for both the accused and victim, but none of them spoke to reporters.

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