A verdict will be rendered in October in the trial of the man accused of murdering Robert-Jan Planje.
Supreme Court Justice William Grist heard final arguments in August in the trial of Steven Kenneth Frederickson, who is facing second-degree murder charges in Planje's death. Grist said he will hand down his decision on Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. Planje's body was discovered down an embankment near Hope on Dec. 30, 2010, two weeks after he disappeared from the Ashwell Road home he shared with Frederickson, a crack addict who had moved into his home that fall.
Frederickson was arrested the day after Planje went missing.
The trial began in February and was expected to last into the spring. But the breadth of testimony from dozens of witnesses along with a variety of voir dires, in which Grist ruled whether certain evidence is admissible, extended the trial through the summer. Frederickson is deaf, and the need to translate all testimony and questions into sign language also slowed proceedings.
During the trial, the court heard from neighbours and the RCMP, who said a fight occurred between Frederickson, 47, and Planje, 64, the night he went missing. A neighbour also testified she saw Frederickson dragging a heavy object from the home into Planje's vehicle the night of the fight.
Grist's verdict will likely come down to how much he believes the testimony of Frederickson himself.
In July, Frederickson took the stand in his own defence. He told the court Planje had hit him with a stick the night of the fight.
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