Lawyer in talks with Crown to resolve case of COVID rules protester

·2 min read
RCMP officers issued tickets and arrested several people at the protest in Moncton  in January for violating the province's emergency measures imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.  (Guy LeBlanc/Radio-Canada - image credit)
RCMP officers issued tickets and arrested several people at the protest in Moncton in January for violating the province's emergency measures imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19. (Guy LeBlanc/Radio-Canada - image credit)

A lawyer representing one of five people charged who allegedly failed to follow COVID-19 rules at a protest in Moncton says discussions are ongoing with the Crown to try to resolve the case.

Jonathan Rossiter, 29, of Nackawic was scheduled to appear in Moncton provincial court Tuesday to enter a plea to charges he faces.

An Ontario lawyer working with Rebel News to oppose tickets for violating pandemic rules is representing Rossiter and appeared on his behalf by phone.

Joshua Halpern told Judge Paul Duffie that there has already been one case resolution meeting with the Crown and another is expected to take place. Such meetings occur to try to see if the case can be resolved without going to trial.

Halpern requested Rossiter's case be adjourned for six weeks to give him time to have another meeting with the Crown.

Five people face charges following the protest. Three are now represented by Ontario-based lawyer Joshua Halpren.
Five people face charges following the protest. Three are now represented by Ontario-based lawyer Joshua Halpren.(Radio-Canada )

Rossiter faces criminal charges of assaulting, resisting and obstructing police officers on Jan. 24 in Moncton.

He also faces a charge of violating the province's Emergency Measures Act by taking part in a gathering of more than five people outside, while people were not more than two metres apart and not wearing masks.

A warrant had been issued after Rossiter had previously missed a Feb. 22 court appearance. The warrant was vacated after Rossiter later appeared in court.

Rossiter claimed during his first appearance that there was no emergency justifying the COVID-19 restrictions he's accused of violating.

"Everything you just said is fraudulent, it's pathetic," he said, telling the court he would charge and sue the officers involved.

"Everything you're doing is illegal, you criminals," he said.

Halpern also represents Bathurst residents Nicholas DeAngelis, 34, and 31-year-old Britney Green who are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Rebel News' website says the organization hired Halpern to defend DeAngelis and Green at no cost to them.

A fourth person charged, 49-year-old Dawn Teakles of Moncton, appeared in provincial court Monday and set a trial date of Jan. 31, 2022. The trial is scheduled for one day.

The fifth person charged, David Robert West, 54, of Riverview, returns to court May 11.

West's lawyer Mathieu Boutet said in court earlier this month that he plans to discuss the case with the Crown to see if it can be resolved.