Lawyer On Trial Accused Of Placing Phony $160K Mortgage On Employee's Home Forces Mistrial; Fires Defense Attorney, Then Claims Depressed Mental State
- After just two days at trial, a Barrie lawyer facing criminal charges has insisted he can't go on with his trial because he is depressed and mentally unstable, a court heard yesterday. "I'm not operating on all cylinders," Myles McLellan said.
- McLellan, 55, [...] began his jury trial this week to face eight criminal charges, including forgery and criminal breach of trust in connection with a false mortgage scheme
- His jury trial began [last] week, but after the first witness testified, McLellan suddenly dismissed his lawyer, Eginhart Ehlers. [...] Under lawyer-client privilege laws, he is not obliged to tell the court why. "I can't possibly go ahead," he said. "We are talking about my life here. I've got to assert my rights."
- After his lawyer was gone, McLellan then asked the judge for a mistrial, stating he could not represent himself because he is "heavily medicated" and emotionally unstable. [...] In the end, Justice Jane Ferguson said she had to declare a mistrial and sent the jury home. "I know the Crown and the police have put tons of effort into this case," the judge said. "But this could aggravate his mental condition. We all know mental illness is a serious problem."
For more, see Mistrial declared in fraud trial (Crown doesn't buy suspect's argument).
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(1) Reportedly, The Crown claims McLellan fraudulently registered a $160,000 mortgage against the home of one of his employees without the knowledge or consent of that employee. McLellan was arrested in September 2006 and has been out on bail ever since. KappaDeedTheft