Schweitzer sentencing delayed 2 months; judge calls mixup 'unacceptable'
What was expected to be a sentencing hearing for the man convicted of killing a 17-year-old girl inside a Milverton home didn’t happen Friday, with the proceedings against Michael Schweitzer delayed for a reason even the judge blasted as “unacceptable.”
In January, a jury found Schweitzer guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Nicole Wagler, and assault with a weapon in connection with the shooting which left Tyler Baker with serious injuries.
Friday, dozens of people affected by the double shooting – including Baker himself, still bearing facial scars – streamed into a Stratford courtroom, expecting Schweitzer to be sentenced.
Instead, they were told that they’d have to come back on June 20.
“On behalf of the administration of justice, I offer my apologies,” Heeney told the crowd.
At issue was a presentencing report, which is put together to give the presiding judge an overview of a person’s character.
Although a request for such a report on Schweitzer was sent to the parole and probation office, it was never received.
“It’s a very, very vital document. Without that document, there was absolutely no way we could proceed today,” defence lawyer Nick Cake said outside court.
“The court doesn’t know Mr. Schweitzer, and they need to in order to sentence him properly.”
In court, Heeney asked if anyone from the office was present to apologize for the error.
Nobody stood, but the Crown attorney on the case said the office felt terrible and was embarrassed by the situation.
Until his sentencing, Schweitzer remains in a provincial jail in London, as he has since 2012.
His conviction on second-degree murder carries with it an automatic life sentence. Left for Heeney to determine is how much time Schweitzer must spend in custody before he is eligible for parole.
Schweitzer’s lawyers have said that their client wants them to launch an appeal in the case. That cannot happen until after the sentencing.