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Man not guilty of breaching order separating him from Princeton’s mayor

‘I’m not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt,’ says judge
Tom Muir, with Tanya Hyslop, who was Muir’s support person throughout the trial Thursday, during a break from the courtroom. Photo February 8. Andrea DeMeer

A Princeton man, who entered into a peace bond last year to settle a charge of causing fear of injury to Mayor Spencer Coyne, was found not guilty in provincial circuit court Thursday, May 15, of breaching that order.

Judge Shannon Keyes said there was no evidence to show that Muir knew the mayor was on the first floor of the town hall when he paused at the bottom of the stairs while exiting the building, on May 18, 2023, the afternoon the original order was given.

“I have to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Muir breached conditions,” said Keyes.

“I have no evidence before me that Mr. Muir saw Mr. Coyne. I’m not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore Mr. Muir is not guilty.”

The original peace bond agreement disallowed Muir from being anywhere near Coyne, or from communicating with him by words or gestures.

In the new case, it was alleged that Muir lingered on the first floor of town hall following the order, after stomping his foot on the floor and executing a salute – which was referred to as a Nazi salute by Crown – in Coyne’s direction.

Under cross-examination, Muir denied the accusation.

“I did no such thing. That would go against my Hebrew heritage, against my military service – no, no, no, no, no.”

Muir represented himself during the proceedings.

The trial began on February 10, 2024, but was put over because of time constraints

On Thursday, and again under cross-examination, Muir said: “I love Mr. Coyne. I’m a very Christian man…I am not allowed to not like him.”

Muir said he supported the mayor when he was elected in 2018, but “I was not so happy when he wasn’t doing his job for the citizens of the town.”

Coyne and municipal employee Stephanie Palmer testified for the Crown.

Muir was the only witness for the defence.

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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