If necessary, Judge Alan Tufts will arrange for a man charged with first-degree murder to be brought to Kentville use the phone.
The case of a former Kings County man, Albert Rex Baird, 45, was before the courts twice Jan. 6, but it won’t proceed to a preliminary inquiry in April because the accused has yet to find a lawyer.
“It’s frustrating,” Baird, a Dartmouth resident charged with killing his former common-law wife Ronda Wilson in 2002, said.
Read more about the case.
Public defender Ken Greer spoke on Baird’s behalf. Greer said he had determined he would take Baird’s case but it “didn’t work out” because Greer found out he has a conflict issue with the file. Greer said he knows of lawyers interested in taking the case, but Baird has yet to find legal counsel.
Greer said the accused has been calling lawyers when he can, but he has been having difficulty regularly accessing a telephone while in custody.
Tufts said he has no control over what happens at the correctional centre. However, he said he would arrange for Baird to be transported to the Kentville Justice Centre to use the phone if necessary.
“You need a lawyer, sir,” Tufts told Baird. “I’ll make every effort I can and every accommodation I can facilitate for you to get a lawyer.”
Tufts told Baird he could use the phone in Kentville that day and he would be brought back before provincial court later that afternoon to address the matter again.
When he was brought back into court, Baird said he didn’t have to make any more calls that day, as he was waiting to hear back from lawyers he had contacted. Greer had provided Baird with a list of lawyers who accept cases on legal aid certificates and handle homicide matters.
“It looks like there are potentially a number of irons in the fire,” Greer said.
The judge said he would be setting new dates in July or the fall for Baird’s preliminary inquiry. Tufts said he would be staying on top of this matter until Baird gets a lawyer. The case has been adjourned until Jan. 15. The Crown will prepare a pick-up order so Baird can be transported to Kentville on that date.