KENTVILLE – A human trafficking trial that was to start May 15 has been postponed until July 2018 as the accused will soon be moved to a federal prison.
Franklin Dale McKay, 29, of Greenwood, stood in front of judge Alan Tufts in Kentville provincial court May 15 as his defense lawyer, Zebb Brown, asked for the trial to be postponed to July 31.
McKay, who has begun serving time on a seven-year sentence he received April 19 after pleading guilty to robbery and aggravated assault, appeared in court on two separate matters – a recognizance breach from March 2017, and to enter an election and plea on several human trafficking-related charges he is accused of.
He pleaded guilty to one count of breaching recognizance and was handed sentence for one-day that was deemed served. The Crown dismissed the remaining charges.
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Defense wants more time to review disclosure
The defense’s basis for the request to postpone the human trafficking trial was they had yet to receive the Crown’s disclosure package.
“We’re requesting… a fairly substantial adjournment because we are expecting quite a bit of disclosure that will take some time to work through,” said Brown, who also asked the record be changed to state McKay will continue his consent to remand in federal custody, where he’s already set to serve time for his assault and robbery sentence.
Crown attorney Jim Fyfe spoke with Brown prior to the trial and did not argue against the application, and judge Tufts granted the request to postpone.
“I’d like to start working towards my better future, and I can’t do that at Burnside,” said McKay, referring to the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside where he is currently in custody.
It is not confirmed where McKay will serve federal time, but Brown told Judge Tufts it would likely be at the federal Springhill Institution.
Human trafficking charges
It is alleged McKay committed a number of human trafficking-related offences in Greenwood between Jan. 1, 2015, and Jan. 4, 2018, including recruiting, transporting and exercising control and direction over the movements of an individual for the purpose of exploiting her; receiving a financial benefit from human trafficking, withholding a document for the purpose of committing an offence and receiving a material benefit from sexual services.
McKay will now appear via video conference during future trial dates, with the first set for July 31 when the trial will resume in Kentville for election and plea.
With files from Ashley Thompson and Kirk Starratt.