The accused has sat quietly taking notes throughout the trial, now he will get his chance to speak.
John Ike Koopmans, who is charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in relation to the 2013 deaths Keith Wharton and Rosemary Fox, is taking the stand at an undetermined date.
During the opening statement from defence counsel Don Skogstad, he noted to the jury that “if an accused chooses not to testify nobody can make them.”
The defence said they will not be re-hashing the testimony from the many Crown witnesses who have taken the stand in the trial that has lasted multiple months, and that their case will be much shorter.
Skogstad said there have been “a lot of frailties in this case already,” reminding the jury that in Canada there is a presumption of innocence, and that Koopmans’ guilt has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
While he did not say when Koopmans will take the stand, Skogstad said there will be “a few” witnesses called by defence and that Koopmans will have a chance to “explain everything that happened.”
“He’s going to explain he has no criminal record,” Skogstad said. “You’re going to hear what happened after he left Elaine Hoiland’s home.
You’re going to get the other part of that.” Skogstad also reminded the jury that Koopmans will be subject to any questions the Crown has for him.