A man who pleaded guilty to attempted murder is one step closer to knowing if he can remove his plea from the court record after closing arguments were made in a hearing Thursday.
Leslie Black appeared at Prince Albert Provincial Court for closing arguments after an expungement hearing in April.
Black pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Marlene Bird in April 2015. The charge stemmed from an attack which left Bird horribly burned, nearly blind and in need of a double leg amputation. Now, Black wants to recant his plea.
Brent Little, Black’s defense lawyer, repeated his argument that Black’s former lawyer Adam Masiowski had not properly explained the consequences of pleading guilty, especially the possibility of being listed as a dangerous offender.
A dangerous offender designation can lead to a lifetime prison term. During Thursday’s hearing, Black said he would have never pleaded guilty if he knew the designation was a possibility.
“You can’t understand something that was never explained,” Little told Judge Hugh Harradence.
Much of the hearing had centered on Black’s mental capacity. Masiowski said he had a “child-like mind” and Little referred to him as “a simple man.”
Harradence asked numerous times if there was any proof Black had “cognitive deficits.” Little said one only needed to see and hear Black on the stand to understand his mental capacity, which Harradence said was not enough.
The Crown said given the severity of the crimes Black pleaded guilty to, a life sentence was already on the table, whether he was listed as a dangerous offender or not.
A decision is expected June 1 at Prince Albert Provincial Court.