Accused in chained-teen case faces more charges
Two tossed from court during David James Leblanc's hearing in Bridgewater, N.S.
A man accused of sexually assaulting and chaining up a 16-year-old boy in a home on Nova Scotia's South Shore appeared briefly in court Tuesday, looking gaunt in a navy blue T-shirt and sweatpants.
David James Leblanc, 47, entered the courtroom slowly, limping. His feet were covered in bandages under his light blue hospital slippers.
Leblanc, who was originally charged with forcible confinement, sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping, is now facing additional charges including administering a noxious substance, uttering a death threat and breach of an undertaking.
The additional charges were released Tuesday morning before Leblanc's appearance in Bridgewater provincial court. He was remanded until Oct. 23.
Leblanc said nothing during his brief court appearance, other than to respond "Yes" when the judge asked him if he understood he would be back in court in two weeks. He sat with his back to the public gallery and looked back when two young men directed insults at him.
"I hope you hear me, goof," said one of the men.
"I hope he dies," the man shouted as he and his companion were kicked out of court.
The pair told CBC News they came in support of the alleged victim, whose identity is shielded by a publication ban.
The teenager was allegedly kept at the house in Upper Chelsea for eight days, but escaped and walked more than one kilometre to a home seeking help. He had chains wrapped around his wrists and ankles and was wearing only a hooded sweatshirt and a hat when he was found.
Gail Seamone-Conrad, who lives close to the house where the alleged offences took place, came to Bridgewater provincial court on Tuesday to get a glimpse of the accused.
"The man in the pictures appeared to be well dressed and haircuts and so on. This man didn't, the facial expression was even different, it didn't look like the same man to me," she told CBC News outside the courthouse.
"I wish him all the hardship he can possibly get."
Other suspect's body found in Ontario
Leblanc returned to Nova Scotia on Friday night, five days after he was found barefoot on a logging road northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont.
The body of a second suspect, Wayne Alan Cunningham, was found last week ending a national manhunt for the two men. The charges against him were withdrawn on Tuesday.
Cunningham's body was found close to where Leblanc was arrested after being spotted by a passerby who was returning from a camping trip. Leblanc's face was scratched up and police said he appeared disoriented and wasn't dressed for the cold weather.
Police said they do not suspect foul play in Cunningham's death.
Arrest warrants for Leblanc and Cunningham read, "Over the course of several days, these two men forcibly confined and sexually assaulted [the teen]," and say the two "were talking about trying to sell him."
Crown attorney Lloyd Tancock said Leblanc could apply for bail, but under different conditions because he's charged with breaching earlier court conditions.
"It's what's called a reverse onus bail hearing, which means Mr. Leblanc has to satisfy the court why he should be released, as opposed to the normal course where the Crown has to show why the individual should be held in custody," Tancock told reporters outside the courtroom.