BRANTFORD – A pre-trial for Kent Owen Squire-Hill of Six Nations took place last Wednesday in preparation for a new trial in connection with the death of his former girlfriend Tashina General.
Squire-Hill was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old General in 2011, but the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Squire-Hill after quashing his conviction last year.
The courts are still deciding on a date for the former lacrosse player’s new trial to begin.
“Pre-trials represent an important step in the litigation process. They encourage settlement and may assist in identifying or narrowing the actual issues for trial. Through the pre-trial process, trial management orders and directions may be obtained so that the trial will proceed more efficiently,” reads the Canadian Ministry of the Attorney General’s website.
Squire-Hill’s appeal against his conviction was based on the fact that the trial judge had erred at the time in instructing the jury on the definition of intent and the defence of provocation. He also argued that the Crown attorney’s had improperly cross-examined him on his statement to police.
The Ontario Court of Appeals ruled that there was no merit in the cross-examination argument, however they did find merit in his other points of appeal and awarded the new trial.
Squire-Hill had been sentenced to life in prison following a jury’s finding of guilt after an eight-day trial in connection with General’s death. General, a Six Nations woman who was four months pregnant with Squire-Hill’s child when she disappeared on Jan. 22, 2008.
General’s remains were found in a shallow grave on the Six Nations reserve, off of Chiefswood Road, near Indian Line.
It was later disclosed that General had died by strangulation. Squire-Hill, 20-years-old at the time, was later arrested in North Bay, Ont.
The pre-trial took place behind closed doors between judge and lawyers on Wednesday, Mar. 9. Media was not permitted at the pre-trial.