Courts

Two HRP officers charged in Corey Rogers death choose jury trial

Rogers' mother says she's unhappy with any delays

Lawyers David Bright (left) and Joel Pink (right) appeared on behalf of Fraser and Gardner who were not present.   Nermeen Ramadan

The mother of a man who died in a jail cell says the case against two Halifax Regional Police special constables is not moving fast enough.

Jeannette Rogers was in Halifax provincial court on Wednesday to attend the hearing of Cheryl Gardner and Dan Fraser, who are charged in the 2016 death of her son, Corey Rogers.

The case was put off for a month.

Rogers is “unhappy” with the decision because the “lawyers had plenty of time to read the disclosure and it took them 18 months to do the arrest,” she told The Signal.

On June 15, 2016, Corey Rogers, 41, was placed in a cell at HRP headquarters, after police received a call of an “unwanted male” from the IWK Health Centre. He was found unresponsive in the cell about two hours later.

Both Fraser, 60, and Gardner, 45, were the booking officers on duty the day Rogers was placed in the cell.

The Serious Incident Response Team investigated the case. On Nov. 8, Fraser and Gardner were charged with criminal negligence causing death.

On Wednesday, defence lawyers David Bright and Joel Pink told the court their clients wanted a jury trial. They also asked for a three-month adjournment in order to prepare before a preliminary hearing date is set.

Crown attorney Christian Vanderhooft, who was on the phone from Winnipeg, challenged that request.

Instead, Judge Amy Sakalauskas decided that the case would resume a month from now.

Lawyers are to attend court on Feb. 27. A date for a preliminary hearing is expected to be set then.