The opening day of Robert Badgerow’s precedent setting fourth murder trial has hit a snag.
Justice Patrick Flynn opened today’s proceedings in Kitchener by excusing the jury for the day to hear “legal issues.”
The former Dofasco steelworker is charged with first degree murder in the 1981 death of nursing assistant Diane Werendowicz.
Badgerow is the first person in Canada to be tried on the same murder charge four times.
Werendowicz went out drinking with some friends on the eve of her 24th birthday on June 19, 1981, but never made it home.
The next day her half naked body was found face down in a creek not far from her Stoney Creek apartment.
An autopsy showed she was sexually assaulted and strangled.
Badgerow admitted to having consensual sex with Werendowicz and maintained she was alive when he left her.
The murder case went cold until 1996 when a DNA profile was extracted from semen found in her body.
In 1998, Badgerow was arrested and charged with first degree murder however his first trial was overturned on appeal 10 years later and his next two trials ended in mistrials in 2010 and 2011.
The jury in this trial will hear evidence that previous panels did not get to hear which was the basis for the fourth trial to be granted.
The trial is expected to last until January.