This latest news article came out today(Oct. 31,2016) through the Canadian Press by Kevin Bissett…..
Jury selection begun at rink in case of NB Boys killed by escaped python
Campbellton,New Brunswick—A New Brunswick rink hosted jury selection Monday for the trial of a man charged in the deaths of 2 boys who were suffocated by a python.
Jean-Claude Savoie, who now lives in Montral,pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death as the case convened Monday at the Campbellton Civic Centre.
Four year old Noah Barthe and his six year old brother Connor ,died after a 45 kg African rock python fell on them as they slept in Savoie’s Campbellton apartment in august 2013.
At the time,the RCMP said the snake managed to get out of its tank overnight while the boys were sleeping.
The apartment was above the Reptile Ocean pet store,also owned by Savoie,who was a family friend and had taken the boys shopping and to a farm before the sleepover with his son.
Once jury selection is complete,the trial will be held at the nearby Campbellton courthouse.
2 weeks have been set aside for the trial.
Jury selection is being held at the rink to accommodate nearly 400 potential jurors. One end of the rink has been converted into a make-shift court.
“Your job will be to consider the evidence ,and in the end decide if Jean-Claude Savoie is guilty or not-guilty,Judge Fred Ferguson told the potential jurors.
By early afternoon,about half the jury pool had been excused and the process to pick individual jurors was set to begin.
Savoie,who has glasses and a short beard,sat quietly throughout proceedings.
In the days after the boys’deaths, 23 reptiles were seized from his store.
Environment Canada said one of its wildlife officers took the snake to Reptile Ocean in 2002.
Mark Johnson, a spokesman for the department,said they were asked to help take the snake to Reptile Ocean after it was abandoned at the SPCA in Moncton,NB.
In an email,he said department records indicate Reptile Ocean was operating as a zoo when the snake arrived at the facility in August 2002.
Canada’s Accredited zoos and Aquariums,the only nationally recognized body in the country that grants accreditation for zoos,said Reptile Ocean was never accredited nor requested accreditation.
Latest news update——jury selection already completed today and the trial reportedly will start tomorrow Tues-Nov.1,2016.
Will keep all of you updated accordingly.