Closing arguments in the Dustin Paxton trial in Calgary have been put on hold while lawyers decide how to proceed on an application that could see charges against the accused suspended.
Paxton, 31, is accused of brutally beating and sexually assaulting his roommate over an 18-month period starting in late 2008.
His defence lawyers prepared an application for a stay of proceedings over the allegedly late disclosure of evidence and the handling of a Crown witness.
They argue that Paxton — who was in the prisoner’s box Tuesday with a new beard after a two-week break in proceedings — has not received a fair trial.
But Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sheilah Martin has not yet heard the application.
Both defence lawyer Jim Lutz and Crown prosecutor Joe Mercier might be called as witnesses in a stay of proceedings application, the defence team suggested.
Martin said such a move is "very, very uncommon."
Defence counsel also said a judge from outside Calgary should be brought in to hear the stay application.
Paxton is being tried in Calgary on charges including the forcible confinement, sexual assault and aggravated assault of his business partner and roommate, who cannot be named because of a publication ban.
In April 2010 Paxton’s alleged victim was left at a Regina hospital weighing just 87 pounds — down from 210 pounds. He was mutilated, missing most of his bottom lip and part of his tongue.
Canada-wide warrants were issued for Paxton, who was arrested four months later in Edmonton.
The judge-alone trial began on Sept. 27.