The setting of trial dates for the RCMP officer charged in connection with the July 2015 shooting death of Hudson Brooks in South Surrey has once again been adjourned.
In a brief appearance Thursday afternoon in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, the proceedings against Const. Elizabeth Cucheran were scheduled – by joint request – to resume on Aug. 8.
News of the delay – the fifth since Cucheran was ordered in December to stand trial – came as a shock to Brooks’ mother, Jennifer.
Reached after the proceedings, she described it as “just a travesty of justice.”
“Today is one week to the tragedy,” Brooks told Peace Arch News, referring to the four-year anniversary of her son’s death.
“Look where we are.”
Cucheran is charged with aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with Brooks’ July 2015 death outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment.
She was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary inquiry that wrapped up in Surrey Provincial Court in December, and has elected for a judge-and-jury trial.
Thursday, prosecutor Heather Magnin told the court it’s estimated that six weeks would be needed for a judge-and-jury trial, and that January 2020 is the earliest dates the court had available.
However, an agent for defence counsel David Butcher indicated that his schedule would not be able to accommodate that length of trial until the fall of 2020.
While Justice John Harvey initially questioned how a further adjournment is “not fostering problems,” he confirmed the matter would return to court on Aug. 8.
Outside court, Magnin told PAN the adjournment was due to “ongoing discussions between defence and Crown.”
Magnin couldn’t say definitively that trial dates would be set next month, but said the hope is “to move forward.”
In March, following the third adjournment of the fix-date proceedings, Brooks’ mother described the wait for things to move forward in her son’s case as beyond excruciating.
“We are coming up to four years of the murder of Hudson and still we wait and wait,” Brooks wrote in a Facebook post on the Justice for Hudson page.
“What is the hold up?”
She said Thursday she is “so discouraged.”
“It’s never going to end. I’m just beside myself.”