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Eric Mearow's release hinges on conditions

He would be the second man involved in Wesley Hallam's 2011 death to be set free
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The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo. Michael Purvis/SooToday

Eric Mearow could be released from custody next week if he agrees to conditions the Crown wants imposed to restrict his freedom.

One of three local men convicted of manslaughter in the grisly January 2011 death of Wesley Hallam, Mearow appeared in bail court at the Sault Ste. Marie courthouse Friday morning.

Justice of the Peace Philip Stanghetta heard Mearow, who has served his sentence, has a release date of Tuesday, but has been arrested on a warrant because the Crown wants him placed on a peace bond.

Julie Lefebvre, a high risk offender prosecutor based in Sudbury, told the court the Crown is prepared to release him on bail if he accepts its terms and conditions.

If Mearow doesn't agree to the conditions, then a special hearing date will be scheduled.

Mearow, shackled and handcuffed, and escorted by Emergency Services Unit officers of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, had indicated prior to his court appearance that he didn't wish to talk to duty counsel.

"I have a couple of points I want to make," he told Stanghetta when asked if he wanted to speak to a lawyer. "I'm interested to hear what the Crown says."

Stanghetta explained to him that before the court would get into the conditions "you must understand there is no negotiating, you either accept it or go to a hearing."

Duty counsel could give him advice and outline the conditions to him, the JP said, indicating a hearing would not happen Friday.

He urged Mearow to speak with duty counsel Gary Knox, and stood the matter down for about 40 minutes.

Following his discussion with Mearow, Knox requested the matter be put over until Monday, so that Mearow can find the address where he will be staying when he is released.

Lefebvre said the Crown will either be consenting to the release at that time or will be setting a date for a show cause hearing.

Mearow questioned why conditions were being proposed now.

"This process commenced weeks ago," Lefebvre responded, indicating Mearow's return to the Sault had been delayed because he had refused to leave his jail cell.

Hallam's mother, Sandra, was in the courtroom — the second such hearing she has attended this fall for the men involved in her son's death nearly seven years ago.

Wesley died at at a house party at a Wellington Street East residence.

His body was dismembered and his torso was later discovered in a Landslide Road creek.

Mearow, Ronald Mitchell and Dylan Jocko were charged with first-degree murder, but in July 2016 pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Mitchell was sentenced to 22 months custody, while Mearow and Jocko each received jail terms of two years less a day.

On Oct. 22, Mitchell — the first of the trio to complete his sentence — was  released with conditions on a two-year recognizance.

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