Application granted. An Indigenous offender, charged with several Criminal Code offences, including second-degree murder, is granted bail as the mens rea is on the weaker spectrum for the offence. He has strong family support and sureties, will subject himself to GPS monitoring and any travel is substantially limited by the pandemic.
Isaah Picody-Naveau, an Indigenous man, has been charged with second-degree murder, along with several Criminal Code offences, including domestic violence against his intimate partner. This matter is an application for bail pursuant to ss 515 and 522. Mr. Picody-Naveau is alleged to have aided another offender, in the stabbing death of a man who was stabbed multiple times in the back with a drywall knife, who then subsequently died of his injuries in hospital. This offence was recorded on video, and Mr. Picody-Naveau is jointly charged for the murder as an aider and abettor. There is weakness, however, of the mens rea element in the Crown’s case against the applicant as pointed out in the written decision committing the applicant to stand trial on the 2nd degree murder charge, set to be heard in 2022.
The accused has been in custody on these matters for almost a year. There are four videos of altercations involving the applicant, who seems to be the instigator, at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre [“OCDC”]. He has a violent temper and has not done well at the OCDC. A Gladue report was prepared that detailed the many struggles the applicant has faced culturally and emotionally over the course of his 23 years of life. His difficulties with the criminal justice system and reckless behavior are in some measure attributable to chronic alcohol and addiction issues, a difficult and tragic upbringing and being transplanted from a small town in northern Ontario to the city of Ottawa.
The risk of Mr. Picody-Naveau not attending Court is sufficiently abated by the fact that he will be under the supervision of his family; that he will have to wear a radiofrequency monitoring ankle bracelet; he and his sureties will each be posting Bonds of $1000; and the pandemic where travel is substantially restricted. The applicant has satisfied the Court that detention on the primary ground was not justified on the facts of this case. While the applicant’s track record for obeying release orders has been abysmal, and he has been shown to be a risk to reoffend, the applicant has been in custody awaiting trial on all these charges for more than 315 days.
The second degree murder charge is a weak case and the presumption of innocence looms large. As the Supreme Court of Canada states, “The right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause is an essential element of an enlightened criminal justice system. It entrenches the effect of the presumption of innocence at the pretrial stage of the criminal trial process and safeguards the liberty of accused persons” (R v Antic 2017 SCC). Therefore, the application for bail is granted.