Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Court pushes forward towards trial in Sharbot Lake murder case

Sebastian Johnston in a Facebook picture dated January 2023.

A man charged with murder in Sharbot Lake last fall appeared in court Monday, Jun. 3, 2024, and it appears there is enough evidence against him to go to trial. 

Justice of the Peace Shawn Borgford presided over Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice, where Sebastian Johnston made a video appearance from Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario.

It appears that the accused murderer has rehired his attorney, Jeffrey Langevin, after Johnston told him he was “fired on the spot” during an agitated and bizarre court appearance on Jan. 30, 2024. At that time, Johnston claimed he was wrongly imprisoned, among other statements where he appeared to blame the victim for being killed.

A law student appeared on Langevin’s behalf to tell the court that “a JPT (Judicial Pre-Trial) was held, and they’re still awaiting a medical report. But other than that, they’re ready to head towards trial and for a [preliminary hearing] — if we could adjourn for one week, when we can get that medical report and set those dates next week.”

 A Judicial Pre-Trial is a meeting between the defence lawyer, the Crown attorney, and a judge. It allows counsel to narrow the issues in the case and explore either resolutions or the possibility it will go to trial.

Borgford attempted to clarify what the student was asking, but he was interrupted by Johnston saying he had not received his disclosure (package of documents related to the case), nor had any decisions about going to trial been made.

The judge was kind but firm: “Just bear with me. I want to speak to counsel first there, sir, and then I’ll speak to you, okay? Thank you.”

The student clarified that they were awaiting a medical report, which Langevin wanted before proceeding with scheduling the trial.

Borgford urged the importance of haste if trial dates were to be set, saying, “You can set your dates and vacate them if you need to. I’m not saying that’s a good practice. But there shouldn’t be any holdup, if it’s trial-bound, to set those dates.”

Crown attorney Shawn Eagles reminded the court of the “very serious charge” against Johnston and the need to set dates for trial or a preliminary hearing. “This needs to happen,” he urged.

Borgford said the case should be brought back to court on June 12 to set the dates: ”I do realize you’re waiting for a medical report. But you’ve indicated that it’s trial-bound, so if you’ve got some dates to set, that’s what would be the expectation.” 

He then addressed Johnston, who said, “I’m wondering when I’m gonna get my disclosure to figure out what’s going on.”

Borgford explained that the attorney, Langevin, “would have your disclosure… If you’ve got a counsel, it goes to them, and then they book an appointment or an opportunity to speak with you and explain what they have in the way of disclosure, and then you give him proper instructions to move the matter forward.”

He suggested that the law student have Langevin contact Johnston.

Johnston said that would be a good idea: “I don’t have my phone or anything, so if you can give me a lawyer call just so I know what’s going on. I’ve been in here since November. I just want to get this moving and get this over.”

Johnston is accused of the first-degree murder of 59-year-old Kevin Saviour Camilleri.

Camilleri was last seen on November 9, 2023, in the Sharbot Lake area and was reported missing on November 16. Members of the Frontenac Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) arrested and charged Johnston with the murder on Friday, Dec.1, 2023. At that time, Camilleri’s body had not been found. 

On the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, the OPP released a statement confirming that the Frontenac OPP Crime Unit, with the assistance of the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), had located Camilleri’s body.

Kingstonist will provide further information on this ongoing case as it becomes available.

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