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COVID-19 delays Sudbury murder trial until Monday

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The second-degree murder trial of Robert Steven Wright in Sudbury came to a halt Thursday when a juror tested positive for COVID-19.

Wright is charged with the Jan. 27, 1998, stabbing death of Renee Sweeney, who was killed while working as a clerk at the Adults Only Video store at a Paris Street strip mall.

Justice Robbie Gordon told the rest of the jury that the ill juror had a dentist appointment Thursday that required her to take a COVID-19 test, which came back positive.

“You would have been in contact with her yesterday,” Gordon said.

The trial is now adjourned until Monday. At that point, if the juror’s symptoms allow, the trial would continue and the juror could be seated in an area away from the jury box wearing a mask.

But Gordon told the other jurors to monitor themselves over the weekend for symptoms.

If you are sick, “don’t come in,” he said.

“Call court staff … If you have any symptoms, isolate.” 

CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca digital content specialist Darren MacDonald will continue to follow the case and provide an update on Monday from the courthouse.

Find all of the previous trial coverage here.

Background

The brutal stabbing death of 23-year-old Renee Sweeney rocked the City of Sudbury to its core on Jan. 27, 1998.

Police searched for her killer for two decades and finally charged Robert Steven Wright, who was 18 years old at the time of the murder. He has been held in jail since his arrest in Dec. 2018.

After several delays, the trial began Feb. 21, 2023, just after the 25th anniversary of Sweeney's death.

CTV News Digital content producer Darren MacDonald is bringing the latest from the courtroom every day and will have full coverage of the trial here.

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