Robert Steven Wright found guilty in Renee Sweeney murder
CTV News has learned the jury in the Robert Steven Wright, 43, has found him guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Renee Sweeney in Sudbury, Ont., on Jan. 27, 1998.
He was arrested and charged with her murder in December 2018 and has been in jail since.
Robert Steven Wright, 43, is on trial for second-degree murder in the 1998 death of Renee Sweeney. He took the stand Monday afternoon to testify in his own defence. (File)
A second-degree murder conviction in Canada comes with an automatic life in prison sentence, with parole eligibility between 10 to 25 years as decided by a judge.
After five weeks of testimony, that began Feb. 21, a Sudbury jury of 12 started deliberating Tuesday after one alternate jury member was excused.
CTV News learned it reached a verdict shortly before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
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Extra police have been deployed to the courthouse and four additional officers outside searching everyone's bags as they enter.
Three officers are standing by Wright inside the courtroom.
The defendant's family is in the courtroom.
The jury was led into the courtroom at 4:12 p.m. and delivered their guilty verdict.
Less than 10 minutes later, Justice Robbie Gordon sent them back out to come up with a sentencing recommendation.
Shortly after 4:30 p.m., the jury returned to the courtroom to deliver its recommendations of Wright serve 20 to 25 years in custody before he is eligible for parole, less time served in pre-trial custody.
Gordon released the jury and reminded members it is against the law to talk about anything that was discussed during deliberations with anyone unless called to testify in court.
Defence attorney Michael Lacy told CTV News Wright will appeal the conviction.
We will continue to follow this breaking news story and provide updates as soon as they become available.
CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca has been inside the courtroom for the entire trial, find previous coverage here.
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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