Kenneth Law to plead not guilty to first-degree murder charges: lawyer

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Published January 26, 2024 at 4:54 pm

The lawyer for an Ontario man accused of sending lethal substances to people who later took their own lives says his client will be pleading not guilty to upgraded murder charges.

Kenneth Law was charged last month with 14 counts of second-degree murder, and his lawyer confirms those have now all been upgraded to first-degree murder.

Law’s case was set to return before a Newmarket, Ont., court on Tuesday, but defence lawyer Matthew Gourlay says that will likely not take place as scheduled since the case is now proceeding by direct indictment.

A direct indictment means there will be no preliminary inquiry, and the case will instead go directly to trial in Superior Court.

Law is also facing 14 charges of counselling and aiding suicide.

Police have said all charges against Law relate to the same 14 alleged victims, who were between the ages of 16 and 36 and died in communities across Ontario.

Investigators have alleged that Law, 58, ran several websites that were used to sell sodium nitrite and other items that can be used for self-harm, shipping them to people in more than 40 countries.

They believe more than 1,200 packages were sent out globally, and about 160 were sent in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26. 2024.

The Canadian Press

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