Montgomery trafficking trial moves to Kelowna

Jennifer L. Montgomery was arrested after her house was raided for alleged drug trafficking

The trial for an accused drug dealer will be moving to Kelowna after court proceedings stalled and were extended beyond the initial three-day projection.

Jennifer Montgomery’s trial was initially slated to run from Jan. 10 to 12, but due to some issues that needed to be resolved in voir dires — a trial within a trial to determine whether certain pieces of evidence should be admitted into the trial — the case ran longer than the initial three days.

Montgomery’s case has made some appearances since that initial run, though largely to fix a date for the proceedings.

Related: Suspected heroin tested positive for fentanyl, court hears

In an application Wednesday morning, the court heard there was too little time in Penticton’s courthouse, and the trial would need to be moved to Kelowna to accommodate all parties and a timely trial.

Montgomery, whose home was raided in after a search warrant was executed based on an acquaintance’s text messages, searched upon her own arrest for breaches of court orders, is charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Defence lawyer Michael Patterson initially attempted to have the trial decided on the merit of the search of Montgomery’s acquaintance’s phone, asserting it required more than a cursory glance to retrieve the text messages, which violated Montgomery’s privacy.

Related: Judge passes on privacy breach claims in drug trafficking trial

The trial judge, however, dismissed that claim in the voir dire and the trial resumed. Patterson since, however, had success in getting Crown to revoke evidence from a search of Montgomery’s own phone, due to the repeated search after a warrant had expired.

Montgomery’s trial wouldn’t be the first to move to Kelowna — most notably, the trial of Grace and Pier Robotti, the former convicted of the second-degree murder of Roxanne Louie, was moved to Kelowna, with the defence saying Penticton’s courthouse lacked the security for the defendants.

In a recent conversation with the Western News, defence lawyer Michael Welsh said one of the things that would help Penticton’s time-to-trial issues in the provincial court level — improved in 2017 from the year before, but still among the worst in the province — would be more judges for the courthouse, though that referred largely to the provincial courts.

Related: Time-to-trial stats improve, but still above provincial standards

Penticton does not have a full-time B.C. Supreme Court justice, and trial judges typically travel from Kelowna or Vancouver.

Montgomery’s trial is now set for two days in Kelowna on March 27 and 28.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

Three charities receive generous donation from 100 Men Who Care

The organization meets four times a year to contribute funding to local initiatives

Penticton Vees outshoot West Kelowna Warriors but don’t earn the win

The Penticton Vees (7-5-1) outshot the West Kelowna Warriors (7-7-1) by a… Continue reading

Award-winning singer/songwriter Christina Martin coming to the Penticton

Christina Martin is bringing her unique musical talents to the Dream Café this Saturday.

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

Pumpkin patch proposal takes engagement to new heights

Flyover of ‘Will you marry me’ written in pumpkins

Most Read