Court

20 hours in, still no verdict in Paul Calnen murder trial

Paul Calnen is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reita Jordan in 2013

Paul Calnen leaves the courtroom after the jury is sequestered for the night.
Paul Calnen leaves the courtroom after the jury is sequestered for the night.   Guillaume Lapointe-Gagner

After 20 hours of deliberations, the jury in the Paul Calnen murder trial is still undecided. Deliberations are set to begin again on Sunday morning.

Calnen, 52, is charged with the second-degree murder of his girlfriend Reita Jordan, 34, in 2013. His lawyer argued it was an accident, stating she tripped over some bags during an argument and fell down the stairs. The Crown disagrees with that version of events. They say Calnen intended to murder her because she was intending to leave him. Calnen pleaded guilty to indecently interfering with human remains by burning Jordan’s body to ashes.

Deliberations started on Thursday afternoon. On Friday, the jurors asked Justice James Chipman a question – they wanted clarification on the decision tree that is supposed to help them reach a verdict. No questions were asked Saturday.

Deliberations started at 9:30 Saturday morning and ran until 4:00. Justice Chipman was concerned with the traffic situation in downtown due to a parade happening on Saturday night. Justice Chipman said the last thing he wanted was for the jury to get caught in a traffic jam. Some streets were closed down for the Parade of Lights.

Justice Chipman told the jury after they were sequestered they were not to use electronics and not to communicate with the outside world.