N.S. court begins process for 2nd trial in pizza delivery murder

·2 min read

A bail hearing is expected to be held next month for a Halifax-area man awaiting a second trial in the 10-year-old murder of a pizza delivery man.

Randy Riley was convicted of second-degree murder in the October 2010 shooting death of Donald Chad Smith outside an apartment in north-end Dartmouth.

Smith, of Halifax, had been lured to the area under the pretence of delivering a pizza from the restaurant where he had just started working.

Riley and another man, Nathan Johnson, were charged with the killing. Johnson was found guilty of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

Johnson subsequently testified at Riley's murder trial where he told the jury he had acted alone in the killing. Despite that evidence, the jury convicted Riley of second-degree murder.

SCC overturns conviction

Riley appealed his conviction all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Earlier this month, the court overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial.

Riley's lawyer, Trevor McGuigan, appeared Thursday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court to schedule a bail hearing for his client.

Crown prosecutor Peter Craig pointed out that Riley has applied twice for bail and was denied both times. McGuigan responded the ruling by the top court means the process for Riley is starting over and past bail decisions are irrelevant.

The bail hearing was set tentatively for the third week of December.

Riley's jury trial joins a long list of cases that are waiting to be scheduled. There has not been a jury trial in the Halifax area since the pandemic forced a shutdown of operations in the spring.

While limited court proceedings have resumed, a space large enough to accommodate a jury with the space requirements of COVID-19 is still under construction and won't be available for trials until March.

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