Jerricho Upshaw, 18, refused to testify Thursday in the youth court trial of another accused killer in connection with the shooting death of 70-year-old Glenn Oakley in Spryfield, N.S., in November 2011.
Upshaw, who faces a second-degree murder charge in the case, was subpoenaed to testify against another accused killer, a 17-year-old charged with first-degree murder.
Brian Church, lawyer for Upshaw, said his client is "steadfast" in his refusal to testify.
Judge Anne Derrick confirmed through questions to Upshaw that he could be held in contempt of court.
She said this is the first time she's confronted this situation.
It's "unfamiliar territory for me," she said.
Derrick said she can't declare Upshaw a "hostile" witness because he won't answer any inquiries, regardless if they're open-ended or leading questions.
Luke Craggs, the defence lawyer for the 17-year-old accused, said there's a lot at stake for Upshaw.
"People in jail who are seen as co-operating with the authorities by, you know, the sort-of improvised justice system that works inside the jail, they're often punished in their own way," he said.
If found guilty of contempt, Upshaw could face two years in prison.
Derrick announced she would hold a hearing so Upshaw could defend himself against a finding of contempt.
In the meantime, the court is still hearing from Upshaw. A video tape of a statement he made in November is being played as the trial continues.
Oakley was found injured on a sidewalk on Drysdale Road in November, while he was out for his usual evening walk. He died a short time later.
A Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice refused to grant a publication ban in the trial Wednesday.
The 17-year-old cannot be identified.