Another teen girl, charged with second-degree murder in connection with what police have called a “swarming” attack on Toronto man Ken Lee, was granted bail on Tuesday.
The girl, represented by defence lawyer Anne Marie Morphew, is the fourth to receive bail in the high-profile case.
Lee, a 59-year-old Toronto man, was pronounced dead in hospital after he was allegedly beaten and stabbed by a group of girls not far from a downtown shelter in the early morning hours of Dec. 18, 2022.
Eight teenage girls — ranging in age from 13 to 16 — have been charged in connection with the case. Their identities cannot be released under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Upon hearing the decision from Justice Maria Sirivar in Youth Court, family of the accused clapped, dropped to their knees in tears and embraced her in a long hug.
The teen’s bail came with the following conditions:
- She must remain in her home.
- She cannot have a cell phone.
- She cannot use the internet except for the purposes of school, meeting with lawyers, medical appointments or counselling.
- No weapons.
- She must not communicate with her co-accused.
- She cannot leave the province of Ontario.
The bail hearing process began in court earlier in January for seven of the accused girls. At that hearing, dates were scheduled for each of the remaining accused to have their own day in court to seek bail.
The eighth teen facing charges in connection with the case was granted bail back in December. All of the bail hearings are being heard at the courthouse at 311 Jarvis St. in Toronto.
A pre-trial publication ban covering any evidence described in court during these hearings is in place, but orders and some comments made by a judge can be reported during the process.
Typically, bail hearings fall under commonplace publication bans that are largely meant to protect the integrity of upcoming trials. At a bail hearing, lawyers can provide evidence in court that could later end up being shown at a trial as part of arguments as to why an accused person should or should not be granted bail.
If that evidence was published or broadcast at the outset, there is a possibility it could taint a prospective jury pool. Spectators in court — including journalists — are able to view that evidence as part of the bail hearing process, but cannot disseminate it until the publication ban drops (which, in the case of a jury trial, is often when jurors start deliberations unless a judge orders other conditions).