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Mother's murder case put off until October 22

Crown still disclosing evidence to defence
by Lisa Brown


Penny Boudreau speaks about her daughter's disappearance at a January 29 news conference. The Bridgewater woman now faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 12-year-old Karissa.
 BRIDGEWATER - There was another delay last week in the court case of the Bridgewater woman accused of killing her 12-year-old daughter in January.

 For the second time, a Halifax defence lawyer appeared in Bridgewater provincial court on behalf of 34-year-old Penny Patricia Boudreau. She remains in custody at the Burnside correctional centre where she has been since her arrest in mid-June.

 Pat Atherton asked to have the case adjourned until October 22, telling Judge Anne Crawford that summer holidays delayed his discussions with the Crown and the disclosure process.

 The judge agreed to the adjournment, but said she will expect to set a date for a preliminary hearing, if one is required, at the next appearance.

 Mr. Atherton had nothing to say as he left the courthouse, but Crown attorney Denise Smith explained the delays are not unusual.

 "There's a lot of material. A lot of material has been provided. A lot of material is yet to come," she said.

 Much of the Crown's case is contained in electronic files, the Crown attorney said. That material is being copied for the defence and statements are being transcribed.

 "It's really rather routine," Ms Smith said.

 She would not speculate on whether or not a preliminary hearing will be held in the case.

 "That's the defence choice and at this point they're waiting to see the further disclosure," she said.

 Ms Boudreau faces a single count of first-degree murder in the death of 12-year-old Karissa, whom she reported missing on January 27. She made two tearful pleas to the public for assistance in finding her daughter before the girl's frozen body was found on the bank of the LaHave River on February 9.

 Police have not revealed specifics of how the girl died, but court documents suggest they believe she died on the day she was reported missing.

 Ms Boudreau claimed they'd argued and she'd left Karissa in the car at the Bridgewater Mall while she went inside to shop. She said when she returned, her daughter was gone.



posted on 09/09/08
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