Preliminary set for accused murderer Robert Jason MacKenzie

Pictou Advocate Court

PICTOU –  A sigh of relief could be heard from the family of Nicole Campbell in Provincial Court on Tuesday as the dates for a preliminary inquiry were set.

Robert Jason MacKenzie, 36, is charged with the second degree murder of 33-year-old Campbell, as well as two other indictable charges, theft of prescription drugs with a weapon and possession of a weapon to commit a crime from the December 30 incident in New Glasgow.

MacKenzie appeared in court via Videolink while his lawyer, Lee Seshagiri, represented him.

He has elected to be tried by Supreme Court judge and jury with a preliminary inquiry beginning at the earliest date possible, June 2017.

The preliminary inquiries for all charges will be held jointly.

It will begin for a full day on June 1 and 2 with a half day June 5 beginning at 1:30 p.m. followed by a full day June 6 and a half day June 7 beginning at 9:30 a.m. It will continue for a full day June 8 and 9 with a half day June 12 beginning at 1:30 p.m., a full day June 13, a half day June 14 beginning at 9:30 a.m. and a full day June 15 and 16.

Seshagiri told Judge Del Atwood that given the number of witnesses, it is beneficial to reserve overflow days for the inquiry, which will be a full day July 4, a half day July 5 beginning at 9:30 a.m. and a full day July 6, 2017.

The lawyers for the Crown, Jody MacNeil and Patrick Young have also agreed to a focus hearing on November 18. MacKenzie is remanded and will appear for the focus hearing via Videolink.

Atwood made an order for only the evidence taken at the preliminary inquiry be under a publication ban until MacKenzie is discharged or his trial has concluded.