Man facing Moncton murder charge is military corporal

·3 min read
Police set up a tent outside a duplex on Logan Lane in Moncton on April 25 following the shooting death of 18-year-old Joedin Leger. (Pascal Raiche-Nogue/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Police set up a tent outside a duplex on Logan Lane in Moncton on April 25 following the shooting death of 18-year-old Joedin Leger. (Pascal Raiche-Nogue/Radio-Canada - image credit)

One of the six people charged with murder in connection with the April shooting death of Joedin Leger in Moncton is a member of the Canadian military who has since been relieved of his duties.

Jerek John England, 23, is a corporal in the reserves who was assisting with a basic training course in Moncton when he was arrested in June, the Canadian Armed Forces confirmed.

"The member is currently relieved of duties and any comment on future administrative or disciplinary action would be speculative at this time," Maj. Cameron Hillier, a spokesperson for 5th Canadian Division, said in an email to CBC.

"However, the Canadian Armed Forces will follow this matter closely to ensure that appropriate action is taken."

Shane Magee/CBC
Shane Magee/CBC

England was the third person charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 18-year-old's death on April 25.

First-degree murder is a homicide that's planned and deliberate.

There's no indication so far that his role with the military is related to the alleged crime. RCMP have not said what type of firearm was used in Leger's death.

The military relieved him of duties in July, backdating the action to his June 16 arrest, Hillier said.

"The Canadian Armed Forces holds its members to a very high standard of conduct and performance — Canadians have a clear expectation that their armed forces will be a disciplined one while reflecting Canadian values and ethics."

Albert County Funeral Home
Albert County Funeral Home

The military spokesperson said Jerek England has been a member of the primary reserve since enrolling in September 2017 as an armoured crewman.

Reservists are mainly part-time members of the military who have other employment, working with the military on some weeknights and weekends.

The member of 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) reserve armoured reconnaissance regiment has no overseas deployments on record. England assisted with the military's response to the COVID-19 pandemic between March and April 2020.

Hillier expressed condolences to Leger's family.

England is among five jointly charged in adult court. Because they are jointly charged, they will be tried together. His younger brother, 20-year-old Hunter Nash England, is also charged.

The other three are Riley Robert Sheldon Philips, 18, Hayden Joseph James LeBlanc, 18, and 24-year-old Nicholas Joseph James McAvoy.

A sixth person was under 18 at the time of the alleged crime. His case is proceeding separately through youth court and he cannot be named.

Bail hearing scheduled

Jerek England's defence lawyer James McConnell filed an application in August seeking bail. A publication ban imposed by a judge on the application documents means details of the request cannot be reported.

The Court of King's Bench docket shows the bail hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15 in Moncton.

McConnell declined to comment Friday.

England has been held at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre since being charged June 17.

Preliminary inquiry could last a month: Crown

Last month, a Crown prosecutor told a provincial court judge the preliminary inquiry in the case would likely take a month. The hearing is held to determine if there's enough evidence to proceed to trial.

A defence lawyer for one of the accused also told the judge that disclosure of the Crown's evidence in the case covered hundreds of thousands of pages.

The youth case is due back in court on Sept. 21 when a bail hearing may be scheduled. The five charged in adult court are expected to appear again in provincial court on Sept. 22 to schedule the preliminary inquiry.

RCMP have previously said police were called around 6:10 a.m. on April 25 for a report of shots fired at a Logan Lane duplex in Moncton's north end neighbourhood.

Leger had been shot and was taken to hospital, where he later died. RCMP have said another person was inside the home but wasn't injured.

Police said they determined a car had pulled up to the home, and four people got out and approached the house.

Several shots were fired before the four got back into a vehicle and fled the area, police said in a news release.