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Media successfully argues against publication ban on Windsor murder trial of Toronto man

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The media has successfully argued against a publication ban on the Windsor murder trial of a Toronto man.

Frederick Leon is currently on trial in front of a jury, for second-degree murder.

He’s charged with killing another man from Toronto, in Windsor, on May 21, 2021.

Prince Charles, also of Toronto, is charged with second-degree murder as well but his trial is currently slated for fall 2025.

Devin Bains, a defence lawyer for Charles received a temporary publication ban at the start of Leon’s trial to allow for a hearing to be held on their application.

Bains argued much of the evidence in the Leon case will be similar to what is expected to be called in his client’s trial.

As a result, he argued coverage of Leon’s trial would make it difficult to find an impartial juror without previous knowledge of the case.

He also feared the media would “ramp up” publication of the evidence from Leon’s trial right before Charles’ begins.

A lawyer for CTV, the Windsor Star and CBC argued against the ban, noting the length of time between trials and the standard juror screening process should be sufficient to ensure Charles receives a fair trial from an impartial jury pool.

Justice Brian Dube ruled Monday Bains’ argument “failed to muster sufficient evidence to meet its onus of justifying the imposition of a publication ban.”

Dube disagreed with Bains on the media coverage and general public interest in the Leon-Charles trials.

“This case, while tragic, is on the spectrum of cases not at all sensational or notorious, nor does it come close to attracting the intense media interest that [Nathaniel] Veltman [terrorism trial] did,” the judge wrote.

“I am of the view that the generalized fears asserted by the applicant about pre-trial publicity borders on speculation and that any risk of prejudice to Charles receiving a fair trial is a manageable one.”

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