The dangerous offender hearing for Leslie Ivan Black got off to a slow start this afternoon in Prince Albert Provincial Court.
Black pleaded guilty to attempted murder in relation to a vicious 2014 assault which led to the amputation of his victim’s legs. He attempted to withdraw the guilty plea last summer, arguing he would not have entered the guilty plea had he known a dangerous offender designation was possible, but the request was denied. If designated as a dangerous offender, Black could be imprisoned for an indeterminate amount of time.
After a delay pushed the hearing back to the afternoon, proceedings opened with testimony from Trina Debler, programs manager at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary. Debler spent more than two hours explaining the details of the various offender programs offered by Correctional Service Canada, and noted programming is still available to dangerous offenders.
Other corrections experts and several doctors and psychologists are also expected to testify.
Black, who appeared in person for his hearing, did not say a word and sat stoically in the prisoner’s box throughout the afternoon’s proceedings wearing prison sweats, wire-framed glasses and sporting a trimmed goatee.
Marlene Bird, the victim of Black’s 2014 attack, was also present in the courtroom in her wheelchair. Bird briefly conferred with Crown prosecutor Jeff Lubyk before the hearing began, then left the courtroom during Debler’s testimony and did not return.
Provincial Court Judge Stanley Loewen, who is presiding over the hearing, said photographs of Bird’s injuries may be presented as evidence, and warned the images are disturbing.
Two weeks were set aside for the hearing at Prince Albert provincial court, but Lubyk said he anticipates the Crown will close its case Thursday.
On Twitter: @TMacPhersonNews
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