‘I am not doing very well,’ says intellectually challenged woman facing new murder trial

Alberta Court of Appeal ordered new trial for Wendy Scott

(Wendy Scott in a Facebook photo posted in 2008.)

Click here to read the full background to this case

Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
During her third appearance Friday in a Medicine Hat, Alta., courtroom for an arraignment hearing to begin her second trial for murder Wendy Scott told the judge things weren’t going well for her on the inside.

“I am not doing very well,” said Scott, a 31-year-old intellectually challenged woman who has been assessed as having an IQ of 50.

Scott appeared before the Court of Queen’s Bench wearing eye-glasses and with a rosary hanging from her neck.

Scott’s arraignment hearing was postponed twice because the Crown had failed to transfer disclosure to the defence.

In her previous appearances, Scott seemed disconnected from the court proceedings.

The Court of Appeal of Alberta ordered a new trial for Scott in October after the Crown handling the appeal conceded there was not enough evidence to support her 2012 guilty plea to second-degree murder in the killing of Medicine Hat man Casey Armstrong who was found dead in the bathtub of his trailer. Scott had been sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 10 years.

With no DNA, fingerprints or murder weapon, the Medicine Hat police and local Crown used Scott’s confession and testimony to build a case against the co-accused in the murder, Connie Oakes, 50.

Oakes, a Cree woman from the Nekaneet First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, has always maintained her innocence and has appealed her jury conviction of second-degree murder. Oakes was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 14 years.

Oakes is scheduled to appear before the appellate court’s three-judge panel Tuesday in Calgary.

Part of Oakes’ appeal is based on an affidavit from Scott who now says she doesn’t believe Oakes was at the trailer when Armstrong was killed.

Scott also accused three other people, two men and a woman, of the murder before claiming she was there when Oakes killed Armstrong.

Armstrong was found dead in his bathtub with a knife-wound through the neck during the May 2011 long-weekend. Police have never identified the source of a size 11 bloody boot-print found on the bathroom floor when Armstrong’s body was discovered.  

During Friday’s hearing Scott told Justice D.K. Miller that she was being transferred to the provincial jail in Lethbridge, Alta., where she would receive treatment from a psychiatrist. Scott had been held in a provincial jail in Calgary. She had been serving her initial sentence at the Philippe-Pinel psychiatric institute in Montreal.

Scott said she wouldn’t be attending any more appearances until her new trial begins and is not seeking bail.

Also on Friday Medicine Hat lawyer Bill Cocks, acting as an agent for Scott’s Calgary lawyer Andrea Serink, said the disclosure had finally been turned over on Dec. 31, 2015.

Ramona Robins, the senior Crown in Medicine Hat, said procedural issues delayed Scott’s defence from getting disclosure.

“There were a lot of DVDs to go through,” said Robins.

Miller set the next arraignment hearing for Feb. 12. It’s expected a trial date will be set on that day.

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