Case of Cape Breton teen charged after Hanna's death will proceed to trial
The case involving a Cape Breton teen that was struck and killed after leaving a grad party in 2018 will proceed to trial.
It's a decision Joneil Hanna's family has been waiting for and there were both tears of joy and anguish as Hanna’s family left the courtroom.
Minutes earlier, Justice David Ryan announced his decision to move forward with a criminal trial in the case against 22-year-old Hayden Kenneth Laffin.
“I just feel happy that Joneil might get some type of justice,” said Jenn Hanna, the mother of Hanna who died last June when he was just 17.“I don't even know what to say. It's a good feeling.”
Laffin wiped away tears as the decision was made.
He was the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed Hanna in June 2018.
He is charged with obstruction of justice and has elected to be tried by a Supreme Court judge and jury.
“I'm hopeful he will be convicted, but it's just another wait, I guess,” said John Parr, Joneil’s father.
Cape Breton Regional Police ruled Laffin -- who also attended the grad party last June -- was not impaired and did not give him a breathalyzer.
Wednesday’s ruling in Sydney comes after a preliminary hearing wrapped up in March. The evidence from the hearing is subject to a publication ban and is not reportable.
Joneil Hanna's family has been publically upset with how the investigation was handled and, nearly a year later, Jenn Hanna says it's taken a toll on the family.
“It's been extremely rough,” Hanna said. “Extremely rough.”
The case resumes on July 3 when a trial date is expected to be scheduled.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.