You can’t always get what you want, historical murder suspect Stephane Parent was told Friday when given the choice of delaying his trial or representing himself.
“We don’t get everything we want in life,” Justice David Gates told Parent, while asking the accused killer whether he wanted to delay his trial or wait for a new lawyer to be appointed.
“If you want a lawyer we’re going to have to accommodate that (new) lawyer’s schedule,” Gates said.
“Lawyers have busy schedules, they can’t drop everything just to take your case.”
Parent was to stand trial beginning Nov. 3 for second-degree murder in connection with the February 2001 killing of his then-girlfriend, Adrienne McColl.
His previous lawyer, Jim Lutz, got off the record a week earlier after Parent decided to go behind his counsel’s back and file a so-called Jordan application seeking a stay based on unreasonable delay.
“I just find it very weird my lawyer … resigned a month before (trial),” he told Gates.
“I find it very weird you filed a Jordan application and Mr. Lutz didn’t know about it,” the judge countered.
“Based on what you told me you and Mr. Lutz had a disagreement on something very fundamental to your defence,” Gates said.
“You wouldn’t follow his advice.”
After repeated attempts to get Parent to decide how he wanted to proceed, Gates said he was adjourning the trial and giving the accused time to find a new lawyer.
“Wow, this is unreal … is this Canada, or is this China?” the accused said of his choices.
Defence lawyer Shamsher Kothari, who has been contacted by Parent, but has not yet been appointed by Legal Aid, said he wasn’t available to conduct the trial as scheduled.
The case returns to court Oct. 23, when it will be determined if Parent’s Jordan application, which would seek a judicial stay based on unreasonable delay, can proceed during what was supposed to be his trial time.