Marcel Breton trial moves ahead without defence lawyer

A Thunder Bay man now on trial for drug trafficking has opted to represent himself.

Two Crown witnesses were supposed to be in court for questioning on Monday but failed to show

A Thunder Bay man now on trial for drug trafficking has opted to represent himself.

Police allege 48-year-old Marcel Breton was involved in the drug trade and hid more than $1 million in cash at a residence on Mapleward road.

In the first minutes of the proceeding, Breton indicated he didn't want to keep his lawyer.

Justice Terrence Platana reluctantly agreed to release the lawyer, but said the trial would go ahead.

The judge described, in detail, the stages of the trial to Breton, saying as his own counsel he would be able to cross examine Crown witnesses. Platana also told police to remove Breton's handcuffs and give him a pen and paper, as well as various disclosure documents.

The first Crown witness, OPP officer Roger Gagnon, described a day in December of 2009 when a search warrant was executed at Breton's residence and officers found drugs, ammunition and money.

Gagnon said a large Tupperware container full of money was located in a garage by officers using a metal detector. Gagnon said the police also found a small box of 22 ammunition buried in the ground.

Breton, then shouted from the prisoner's box "Did you find the gun?"

The judge warned Breton that, if disruptions continued, he could be removed from court.

Two Crown witnesses were supposed to be in court for questioning on Monday but failed to show. Caroline Stone, Breton’s ex-girlfriend, and his mother Irene Breton had been subpoenaed for a court appearance in January and had been bound over to the June date. 

Justice Platana issued warrants for the arrest of both missing witnesses.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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