CRANBROOK, B.C. — The defence in a trial of two Mormon fundamentalists charged with polygamy has questioned the reliability of religious records and evidence supporting the indictment during closing arguments in B.C. Supreme Court.
Winston Blackmore and James Oler, who are associated with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community of Bountiful, B.C., were charged three years ago.
Crown attorney Peter Wilson relied heavily on marriage and personal records seized by law enforcement from the Yearning for Zion Ranch, an FLDS church compound in Texas in 2008, during the 12-day trial.
On Thursday, Blackmore’s lawyer Blair Suffredine attacked the credibility of the records while also charging that the Crown hadn’t proved the elements in the indictment.
Suffredine argued that prosecutors needed to prove both a continual form of practising polygamy as well as a form of conjugal union, but marriage records only offer a snapshot of one moment in time.
“There’s no evidence of who they lived with or how they lived,” said Suffredine.