Nova Scotia

Two men face joint murder charge in Jessome homicide

Two men now face a joint murder charge in the death of a Glace Bay woman.

Thomas Barrett and Morgan James MacNeil back in court March 25

Laura Jessome's body was discovered in a hockey bag several weeks after she was last seen in Glace Bay, N.S. (Facebook)

Two men now face a joint murder charge in the death of a Glace Bay woman.  

Thomas Barrett and Morgan James MacNeil — both from Glace Bay — had been charged separately with second degree murder in the death of Laura Jessome of Bras d'Or last May.  

Jessome's remains were found inside a hockey bag along the Mira River near Marion Bridge, several weeks after she was reported missing on May 2, 2012.

In Sydney court on Monday morning, the Crown announced the joint charge.

Chief Crown attorney Dan MacRury said having one trial is preferable since witnesses only have to testify once.  

"Normally it's in the interest to try to have one trial," said MacRury.   

"It makes total sense to have one trial as opposed to two trials, and it makes it easier for the victims families to only have to go through it on one occasion as well."  

Barrett and MacNeil will return to court on March 25, to have a date set for a preliminary inquiry.

Barrett is also charged with second degree murder in the death of another woman, Brett MacKinnon of Glace Bay.  

MacKinnon, 21, was reported missing by her mother in July 2006. Her skeletal remains were found more than two years after that, in November 2008, by hunters in a wooded area just outside of Glace Bay.

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