Charges stayed against Cornwall woman in shooting, kidnapping

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Charges have been stayed against a woman charged nearly four years ago in a Cornwall shooting and kidnapping investigation.

Court records show prosecutors dropped all 11 counts against 28-year-old Kaitlin Chaine of Cornwall, which included kidnapping, threats and weapons-related charges, following a court appearance Sept. 23.

Chaine was one of three people charged by the Cornwall Police Service in December 2017 after a man was shot in his arm and then kidnapped from his home.

Two other co-accused were charged with the crime and one of them – Blaise Girard of Valleyfield, Que. – was sentenced to five years in prison in 2019. The outcome for the other accused, Marcel Seip of Cornwall, Ont., is not known.

In an email to Cornwall Newswatch, Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General spokesman Brian Gray could not provide an explanation for why the charges were stayed, only confirming they were done so at the request of the Crown on Sept. 23.

There could be a couple of reasons.

Since the charges are nearly four years old, proceeding with them could invite a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge under Section 11(b) on a right to be tried within a reasonable time. Also, since at least one person has been convicted and sentenced, the Crown may have determined that use of prosecutorial and court resources was not in the best interest of the public.

A stay means the charges are put on hold but those charges can be prosecuted within one year of the stay of proceedings.