Accused in chained-teen case to enter guilty pleas
David Leblanc is charged with sexual assault and chaining up a teen in a Nova Scotia home
The lawyer for David James Leblanc, the accused in the case of a teenage boy who was found chained after escaping a Nova Scotia home last year, says his client will plead guilty to a number of charges next week.
Leblanc is accused of sexually assaulting and chaining up the teen in a home on Nova Scotia's south shore last September.
On Thursday, Leblanc appeared in a Dartmouth court to face separate charges of child pornography that date back to 2010.
Instead, he waived his right to a preliminary inquiry. His lawyer, Mike Taylor, asked that the files be consolidated with the south shore charges.
"There will be pleas of guilty entered to a number of charges," said Taylor.
He said six or seven charges will be dealt with during the next court appearance, which is Thursday in Bridgewater Supreme Court.
"There's the pornography charges here, and there are a couple of sexual assault charges that are laid here as well, and the other matters in Bridgewater."
In the south shore case, Leblanc's lawyer did not specify which charges his client will plead guilty to, but said they include some forcible confinement charges.
Leblanc is scheduled to go to trial in 2014. Taylor said that will be called off once the pleas are entered. He said they've been in talks with the Crown to make a deal for some time, but needed to set a trial date as a precaution.
Leblanc was the focus of a nationwide manhunt last fall.
The case unfolded when a 16-year-old boy arrived at a home in Upper Chelsea in Nova Scotia, claiming he had been held against his will. He had chains wrapped around his wrists and ankles, and was wearing only a hooded sweatshirt and a hat when he was found.
A warrant was then issued for Leblanc and another man, Wayne Alan Cunningham.
Leblanc was found wandering in northern Ontario a few days later. Cunningham's body was discovered after that. Police said there was no foul play in Cunningham's death.
Leblanc suffered frostbite during that time, and has frequently appeared in court in a wheelchair. On Thursday, Leblanc slowly walked into the courthouse with sheriffs by his side. He has been in custody since his arrest.
Leblanc's charges in the Dartmouth court are accusations of abusing two boys, two and five years old, taking photos of them and posting them online.
Taylor said he expects a joint recommendation next week when Leblanc pleads guilty.
He said Leblanc will likely be sentenced a few weeks after that court appearance.