A second juror in the Mark Stobbe murder trial has been dismissed, citing hardship.
This comes after the Court of Queen's Bench judge, Mr. Justice Chris Martin dismissed a previous juror after he failed to show-up for the trial on Tuesday.
Typically, there are 12 members in a jury but 14 were chosen for the Stobbe trial.
Recent changes to the Criminal Code allow for larger juries in longer trials to ensure a minimum of 12 remain at the end. The judge told the remaining jurors it is extremely rare to lose so many jurors in the first two weeks of a trial. Martin told jurors it is important to pay attention and to be seen as doing their job. The second juror who was dismissed suffered from sleep apnea, and the first juror also cited hardship in attending the case.
Stobbe is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife Beverly Rowbotham. Rowbotham was found dead in her car in Selkirk in October 2000.
The Crown's theory is that Stobbe killed his wife in the couple's sprawling rural backyard in St. Andrew's, Man., by hitting her in the head with a hatchet 16 times. The Crown alleges Stobbe then drove his wife's body to a parking lot in Selkirk, 15 kilometres away, before riding a bicycle back home and reporting her missing.
Physical evidence produced so far includes small bone fragments, drops of blood and other material found in the backyard. DNA testing suggested the remnants came from Rowbotham.
Stobbe had been a senior adviser to Saskatchewan Premier RoyRomanow, and moved to Manitoba in 2000 to take a senior communications job with the NDP government that had been elected the previous year.