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Murder trial begins

Pretrial applications expected to take at least a week

The trial of Ivan Mendez-Romero, charged with murder in the October 2004 death of Janko Naglic, began in Ontario Superior Court on University Ave at 10:45am on Feb 4.

At the top of the proceedings Madame Justice Gladys Pardu asked the defendant to stand before reading the charges. “You are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Janko Naglic. How do you plead?”

“Not guilty,” answered Mendez-Romero, who was dressed in slacks and a dress shirt that covered up many of his tattoos. Mendez-Romero, who has grown a long black beard since his incarceration in the fall of 2005, sat rigidly in the defendant’s chair with an armed guard to his left as two Crown attorneys detailed legal arguments for hours about the admissability of certain testimony.

Pretrial applications are expected to take a week or more to adjudicate. These proceedings are not reportable.

Both Greg Lafontaine, Mendez-Romero’s chief lawyer, and Det Sgt Wayne Banks of the homicide department estimate the trial will take between six and eight weeks to complete. The court has been booked for the case until the end of March.