May 17, 2017

Verdict date set for B.C. polygamy trial

The Canadian Press
Global News
May 16, 2017

A date has been set for a verdict in the trial of two British Columbia men accused of polygamy.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge in Cranbrook will issue her ruling July 24 in the trial of Winston Blackmore and James Oler, who are both associated with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Both men were at one time leaders of separate breakaway Mormon sects in the isolated community of Bountiful in southeastern B.C.

The mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is based in Utah, officially renounced polygamy in the late 19th century and disputes the fundamentalist group’s connection to Mormonism.

Blackmore is accused of having two dozen wives, while Oler is alleged to have married five women.

Blair Suffredine, Blackmore’s lawyer, says he will apply for a stay of the decision because of its reliance on evidence that was gathered while there was confusion around the legality of Canada’s polygamy laws.

RCMP first began investigating allegations Bountiful residents were practising plural or “celestial” marriage in the early 1990s.

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