Start of trial of Niagara constable shot by fellow officer postponed to Tuesday

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Const. Nathan Parker's trial will start on Tuesday, in person in Hamilton, and will last about 10 days. (Facebook - image credit)
Const. Nathan Parker's trial will start on Tuesday, in person in Hamilton, and will last about 10 days. (Facebook - image credit)

The start of the trial of a Niagara Region officer charged with assaulting a fellow officer who shot him 10 times has been postponed until Tuesday in Hamilton due to a COVID-19 issue.

Const. Nathan Parker of the Niagara Regional Police Service has pleaded not guilty to assault with a weapon.

The 10-day, judge-alone trial was set to start Monday in person in Hamilton. But Justice Anthony Leitch said someone involved with the case had to be tested for COVID-19.

Parker, 55, of St. Catharines, Ont., was charged after an unusual incident on Nov. 29, 2018, that also involved Det.-Sgt. Shane Donovan.

Both men were investigating a crash at the rural intersection of Roland Road and Effingham Street in rural Pelham, about 20 kilometres west of Niagara Falls.

A $2.5-million lawsuit Donovan later filed against the local police service, Parker and the Niagara police board says Donovan was heading the collision reconstruction unit. It says Parker's job was to redirect traffic.

Parker left his post without permission, according to the lawsuit. It says that when Donovan admonished him for it, Parker responded aggressively.

Donovan shot Parker 10 times. One bullet grazed Parker's nose, while others hit his leg, stomach and shoulder.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit initially laid assault-related charges on Donovan, including attempted murder, but the Crown later dropped them.

Parker has a history of disciplinary hearings related to violent interactions. He was charged for his part in the altercation.

The Crown Law Office in Toronto is prosecuting and will present its evidence. The trial will resume with the defence on Oct. 26 and 27.

Toronto lawyers Joseph Markson and Kate Robertson are representing Parker. Jason Nicol and Jeremy Tatum are representing the Crown.

The Ontario Court of Justice trial was initially scheduled to be in St. Catharines, but it was moved to Hamilton.

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