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Release delayed as Mearow opts to wait for Toronto lawyer

The Crown is asking for a peace bond partly due to witnesses' fears
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The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo. Michael Purvis/SooToday

Eric Mearow opted Monday not to go ahead with a bail hearing that could have paved the way for his release from custody after serving his time for the role he played in the death of Wesley Hallam.

Instead, he told Justice of Peace Philip Stanghetta he wants to retain the Toronto lawyer, who represented him at his trial, and then directly proceed to a show-cause hearing on a Section 810 peace bond that the Crown is seeking.

The recognizance would place restrictions and conditions on his freedom.

Mearow's next court appearance will be Dec.5  by video remand, at which time a date for the hearing is expected to be scheduled.

Assistant Crown attorney David Kirk told the JP that Mearow's statutory release date is Tuesday, but he was arrested on a city police warrant and brought to bail court.

The 810 peace bond is being sought because of witnesses' fears, and Mearow's criminal antecedents and behaviour while behind bars, the prosecutor said.

"It is to ensure the safety of the victim's family and witnesses and protection of the public at large," Kirk said.

In addition to his 2016 manslaughter conviction in Hallam's 2011 death, Mearow's criminal record includes assault with a weapon, assault police, assault causing bodily harm and robbery.

When Stanghetta remanded Mearow into custody, he ordered him to have no communication with Ronald Mitchell and Dylan Jocko, the two other men who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 27-year-old man's grisly death.

As well, he is to have no contact with a number of other people, including Hallam's mother Sandra and sister Shannon.

Hallam was killed at a house party at a Wellington Street East residence in January 2011.

His dismembered remains were later located in a creek near Landslide Road.

The three men were subsequently arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

The trio remained in custody until they pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in July 2016.

Mitchell was sentenced to 22 months further time. He was released from jail last month and placed on conditions for 24 months.

Mearow and Jocko each received sentences of two years less a day.

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