Trial expected to begin today for man accused of killing Tess Richey


TORONTO -- The trial of a man accused of killing a young woman in Toronto’s gay village is expected to begin today.

Kalen Schlatter is charged with first-degree murder in the November 2017 death of Tess Richey, who police have said died of “neck compression.”

The 22-year-old woman was reported missing Nov. 25 after a night out with a friend. She was found dead days later by her mother, who had travelled to Toronto from North Bay, Ont., to help with the search.

Richey’s body was found in a stairwell at the back of an alley, just metres from the address where she had last been seen alive.

Police have said they believe Schlatter and Richey did not know each other before the night of her death, but they have released few details of the investigation.

The force has faced public criticism for officers’ failure to find Richey in the days after she vanished. Two police officers are also facing disciplinary charges in the matter.

Const. Michael Jones and Const. Alan McCullough are charged under the Police Services Act with not performing a duty and not carrying out an order in connection with Richey’s disappearance. Their hearing has been put off until Schlatter’s criminal trial is over.

Richey’s death is one of several missing persons cases connected to the gay village that sparked public backlash against police, with many in the community alleging officers were not protecting them.

The force has launched a review of how it handles of missing persons cases. The review is being conducted by a retired Ontario Court of Appeal judge, Gloria Epstein, and was initially supposed to wrap last year but is now expected to finish this spring.

The Canadian Press

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