Judge lets murder jury watch Leafs game

Toronto Maple Leafs' Phil Kessel (L) shakes hands with Boston Bruins' Tyler Seguin after the Bruins defeated the Leafs in overtime in Game 7 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final hockey playoff series in Boston, Massachusetts May 13, 2013.

Credits: REUTERS


TORONTO - A judge granted a sequestered jury permission to watch Game 7 of the Leafs-Bruins hockey showdown Monday night.

Sequestered jury members are barred from having any media contact during their deliberations, but those deciding the Fayisa Ibrahim case asked Justice Gladys Pardu if she could make an exception for the televised playoff game.

Ibrahim, 26, is accused of gunning down Kamal Hercules, 21, downtown Toronto on Sept. 5, 2009. He has pleaded not guilty.

The jury started its deliberations at 2:30 p.m. Monday and retired for dinner at a hotel before the 7 p.m. faceoff.

Jury members passed a note to the judge, seeking her approval to break the no-media rule so that they could take in the deciding match.

"I have a note asking for permission to watch what I understand for some people is a significant hockey game," said Pardu.

She granted permission as long as all the jury members stayed together, under the watchful eyes of court officers. The judge asked the jury members to not discuss the trial unless all 12 were present.

Anyone wishing to skip the game could be excused and go to their hotel room, she said.

Crown attorney Bev Richards strenuously objected, saying it violates the rules.

But the accused, who is representing himself, and defence lawyer John Dennis, favoured the jury's request.

"I think it was pretty understanding of the judge under the circumstances," said Dennis, who is acting as a friend of the court safeguarding the accused's legal rights.

The jury will continue its deliberations Wednesday.

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