May 6, 2017

Polygamy case a wrap

Winston Blackmore
The Canadian Press
May 4, 2017

The prosecution in the trial of two B.C. men accused of having multiple wives has wrapped up its case.

Winston Blackmore is the head of a religious group in Bountiful, a community in southeastern B.C. where residents follow the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, a faith that condones plural marriage.

Blackmore is standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Cranbrook alongside James Oler, and each is charged with one count of polygamy.

Blackmore allegedly has 24 wives, while Oler is accused of marrying four women.

Crown attorney Peter Wilson summarized his evidence against the pair on Wednesday, emphasizing the importance of marriage records seized by law enforcement from a ranch in Texas that is owned by the FLDS church.

He said the records are important because testimony from experts on Mormon doctrine and church history shows that practitioners of the faith believe that what is sealed on Earth is sealed in Heaven and the afterlife.

"The evidence supports that record-keeping was of significant spiritual importance to the FLDS church," Wilson said.

The trial has also heard from Blackmore's first legal wife, Jane Blackmore, who said she sometimes attended ceremonies where Winston Blackmore married other women.

Jane Blackmore is also James Oler's sister and testified that he had three wives, at least one of whom she had provided prenatal care for in her job as a midwife.

Other key pieces of evidence for the Crown include a video-recorded interview between an RCMP officer and Blackmore, and statements Oler made to the police.

The trial heard that both men told police officers they had multiple wives.

https://www.castanet.net/news/BC/196224/Polygamy-case-a-wrap
Post a Comment