Accused killer of Renee Sweeney in hospital with COVID-19, trial in Sudbury delayed to 2022

One of the most anticipated trials in the history of Sudbury, Ont., has been delayed another year, court heard Tuesday, and the accused killer has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Steven Wright, 42, was transferred to a Toronto hospital after COVID-19 jail outbreak

A balding man with a thin beard wearing a light brown shirt looks into the camera
Steve Wright, who is accused of stabbing Renee Sweeney to death in 1998 when he was 18, is being treated for COVID-19 in a Toronto hospital. (Facebook)

A court heard Tuesday that one of the most anticipated trials in Sudbury's history has been delayed another year and the accused killer has been hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Steven Wright, 42, is charged in the 1998 stabbing death of 23-year-old Renee Sweeney at a video store in the city's south end. 

The murder trial has been delayed several times since Wright was charged in December 2018 and new dates were expected to be set during this court appearance.

But Wright's lawyer, Michael Lacy, told the court that Wright is in a Toronto hospital after "falling victim" to COVID-19 during a recent coronavirus outbreak at the Sudbury Jail, which saw all inmates transferred to other facilities.

Lacy asked that the new trial dates not be officially confirmed until Wright is well enough to attend the virtual hearing.

The Crown and defence tentatively agreed the trial would begin on Sept. 12, 2022, and run until Oct. 17, 2022.

Some of this delay is for Lacy to get up to speed on the case. He was named as defence counsel just a few weeks ago when well-known Sudbury lawyer Berk Keaney resigned due to a conflict of interest. 


Erik White


Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to