Murder suspect attacked by inmates in Dartmouth jail stabbed up to 40 times: sources

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
Published on June 24, 2014

Thomas Ted Barrett. 

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As a Cape Breton man continues to fight for his life in hospital after suffering life-threatening stab wounds, it appears unlikely a preliminary hearing set for next month will proceed.

Thomas Ted Barrett, 39, of Glace Bay, is scheduled to appear in a Sydney courtroom next month on robbery charges but on Saturday, Barrett was brutally attacked, allegedly by five other inmates, at the Central Nova Correctional Facility in Burnside. 

According to sources, Barrett continues to be in intensive care having suffered as many as 40 stab wounds and other injuries.

The five attackers are expected to face charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault causing bodily harm in connection with an assault involving guards at the Burnside jail. The case was adjourned.

Senior Crown prosecutor Kathryn Pentz said Monday it appears doubtful that the robbery preliminary hearing will proceed July 14 given the current state of Barrett’s health.

However, she said, Barrett’s preliminary hearing on two counts of second-degree murder is expected to proceed in November.

Barrett and Morgan James MacNeil, 23, also of Glace Bay, are charged with the second-degree murder of Laura Catherine Jessome, 21, of Bras d’Or. Jessome’s body was found along the shores of the Mira River in Marion Bridge in May 2012. Barrett is facing an additional second-degree murder charge in relation to the 2006 death of 21-year Brett Elizabeth McKinnon.

The preliminary hearing on both charges is now expected to proceed from Nov. 13 to Dec. 5. A judge presiding over a preliminary hearing will determine if there’s enough evidence to send the case to trial.

The robbery preliminary was scheduled for July 14. The charges relate to a bank and a jewelry store in Sydney and occurred in May 2012. MacNeil was also facing the same robbery charges but pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 72-month federal prison term.