Murder of Renée Sweeney: Robert Steven Wright to testify at trial

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Murder of Renée Sweeney: Robert Steven Wright will testify during his trial

Robert Steven Wright was arrested on December 11, 2018, more than 20 years after the murder of Renée Sweeney. (File photo)

Opening arguments were presented Thursday in the trial of Robert Steven Wright at the Sudbury courthouse. He is accused of killing Reney Sweeney on January 27, 1998 at his workplace in an adult video store in the south side of the city.

The alleged murderer, today The 43-year-old man faces one count of second degree murder in the case, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorney Bryan Badali says the defendant plans to testify at trial, which he is not required to do, and will submit to cross-examination to explain to the jury what he saw, what he did and why he left the scene.

The latter, dressed in a white shirt and black pants, showed a certain calm at the start of the second day of court proceedings. Behind him, about two-thirds of the seats in the room were taken by members of the public.

Renee Sweeney was stabbed thirty times by her attacker, police say. (File photo)

If found responsible for the crime, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

The Crown attorneys were the first to address the jury.

They recalled that Ms Sweeney, then 23 years old at the time of her murder, was attacked, but she showed force in trying to defend herself.

The prosecutor Deputy Kevin Ludgate also recalled that DNA found under the victim's fingernails matches that of Wright's relatives.

The murderer killed Renee Sweeney in this store in broad daylight. (File photo)

Each individual who commits violent acts towards someone has a first time, Me Ludgate continued to the jurors, recalling that it is often only those who commit these crimes who know what motivated them.

Although Robert Steven Wright claims to have been on the scene at the time of the crime, defense attorneys recalled during their remarks that the trial is about determining who killed Renée Sweeney.

They claim the accused is not the one behind the murder.

Mr. Badali says Mr. Wright was an 18-year-old high school student at the time who did not know Mrs. Sweeney and who had no reason to commit this horrible act.

Robert Steven Wright was arrested in December 2018, more than 20 years after the murder of the young lady.

It took more than four more years for the trial to begin due to several obstacles, including a request for a change of trial location, attempts to obtain parole, the pandemic and changes in legal representation. of the accused

During the two-decade investigation, the Greater Sudbury Police Service pursued more than 2,000 leads and dismissed 1,500 suspects in an attempt to locate Renée Sweeney's killer .

Press availability from Greater Sudbury Police regarding the January 2017 murder of Renee Sweeney. (Photo by 'archives)

The search for the murderer notably led to the largest collection of DNA for a single investigation in Canadian history to date.

Authorities have spoken often over the years of traces of DNA found under the victim's fingernails, on a coat and on gloves that were found in a wooded area near the scene of the crime on Paris Street.

According to Judge Gorton, the trial should last about six weeks. The jurors were repeatedly reminded that during its unfolding, they should not consume media dealing with the case because of its publicized nature.

With information from Bienvenu Senga and Erik White of CBC

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