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'It’s a relief': Three Scarborough suspects ordered to stand trial for death of Essex woman


Juliana Pannunzio, 20, was killed on January 19, 2021 at a house party in Fort Erie, Ont.

18 year-old Christina Crooks of Toronto was also killed.

A judge ruled Wednesday that a trial will proceed against the three people charged in the death of both women.

Christopher Lucas was ordered to stand trial for two counts of first-degree murder.

Two counts of first-degree murder against Trevor Barnett were “discharged” by the judge but she then ordered he be tried for two counts of accessory after the fact.

The two charges of accessory after the fact already laid against the third suspect, Heidi Bahler, will stand.

A standard publication ban on preliminary hearings prevents the media from reporting any evidence heard in court and the judges’ reasons for committal.

None of the allegations against the three accused have been proven in court.Juliana Pannunzio, 20, of Windsor. (Courtesy GoFundMe)

“It's a relief but then it brings on a whole new set of worries,” says Lisa Mulcaster, one of Pannunzio’s mothers.

“I’m at peace with it,” Shellie Pannunzio, Juliana’s other mom told CTV News Wednesday. “Is it 100 per cent what we wanted? No, but, you know, we're gonna move in the right direction. I have to have faith in that.”

Mulcaster and Pannunzio have attended every court date - sometimes in person or through a virtual courtroom - during the preliminary hearing held intermittently over the last six months in a courtroom in Welland, Ont.

“You know, this is emotionally draining on us,” Pannunzio said. “Every time we go up there and we come back and we try to you know, put our lives back together, get our families back in order get into a routine and then we have to get ourselves prepared to go back up.”

“It's just never-ending because every time we go to court, there's new pieces of information. And so you have to put that into what you have already,” Mulcaster adds.

The case has been adjourned to April 22 when a date for a trial will be set. Top Stories

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