For the first two weeks of his B.C. Supreme Court trial in New Westminster, 24-year-old Wesley Edward Kelemen watched while his lawyer fought to exclude certain evidence from his trial on a charge of aggravated assault in a Langley attack that sent 29-year-old Tyler Willock to hospital with multiple fractures in 2009.
The double row of seats normally occupied by jury members were empty during the voir dire, a “trial within a trial” to determine what they will be allowed to hear.
That hearing wrapped up Thursday, June 23.
The start of the jury trial was tentatively set to begin Monday, June 27 but it has now been set for July 4.
Kelemen is one of two men who were arrested and charged following the beating of Willock at a residence in the 21000 block of 86 Avenue on March 8, 2009.
The other man, 24-year-old Albert Jacob Jackman, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault and one count of unlawful confinement at the start of the voir dire on Monday, June 13.
A third charge of assault with a weapon was dropped.
Jackman’s sentencing hearing was set for Friday, June 24, but it has been postponed to an undetermined later date.
Jackman is already in prison serving the longest jail sentence possible under Canadian law, life with no parole for 25 years in the unrelated murder of another man, Langley resident Kyle Barber.
Any time served for the beating is expected to run concurrently within the 25 years.
The charges against Jackman and Kelemen were laid after Willock was reportedly attacked with a sledgehammer and suffered multiple fractures and puncture wounds to his arms and legs that required extensive surgery and a lengthy hospital stay.
Police said there were significant links between the assault on Willock, who was described as a gang associate, and ongoing gang investigations.
It was the second known attack on Willock.
He escaped injury during the first, a drive-by shooting on Feb. 16, 2009 in Surrey outside the T-Barz show lounge on 137 Street near 104A Avenue.
Willock was riding in a Range Rover with another man and two women that stopped at the intersection near the club when another SUV opened fire.
The gunmen missed Willock, but wounded the driver in his shoulder.
The bullet-riddled Rover fled to Langley, where the driver was rushed to hospital, treated and released.
Five people including reputed gang leader Barzan Tilli-Cholli have since been charged in connection with the SUV attack.