Lloyd Cook set to face judge
Lloyd William Cook, 54, was in custody Monday after RCMP arrested him at his home on Osoyoos.
He was found in his own residence several days after failing to show up for the scheduled verdict in his manslaughter trial in Prince George. In his absence, Cook was found guilty Friday (Feb. 8) of unlawful confinement and interference with a dead body, but not guilty of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death. All the charges stem from the January 2000 death of his 13-year-old stepson Adam.
After hearing submissions on sentencing from both Crown counsel Lara Vizsolyi and defence lawyer Stephen Taylor Friday, Supreme Court Justice Glenn Parrett said he would defer imposing sentencing on Cook.
“I propose to delay sentencing on the off chance Mr. Cook will surface in a reasonable period of time,” he said.
When Cook did not appear on Jan. 31, the court was told by Taylor that Cook had left him a message that he had fuel pump problems in Williams Lake and was at the side of the road. At that time, a bench warrant for his arrest was issued. As of Tuesday at press time, a rescheduled date for sentencing had not yet been set.
Cook was charged with all four offences following a lengthy RCMP undercover operation. Adam’s remains and fragments of a blue blanket, both apparently scattered by animals, were found in a bush off North Nechako Road in 2004.
In his reasons for decision, Parrett reviewed the week-long court case case in which the Crown called 15 witnesses. As well, he had harsh words to describe the actions or non-actions of social workers from the Ministry of Children and Family Development involved in the family’s case. Cook was living with Adam’s natural mother, Judy Williams, in 2000 at the time of the teenager’s death.
Further, Parrett said it is an “unspeakable tragedy” that 12 years after his death, “we know almost nothing about what happened” to Adam. In making her submissions on sentencing Friday, Vizsolyi asked the court to consider two to three years for each count, to be served consecutively. However, Taylor, who appeared Friday by video link from Victoria, suggested an 18-month sentence for both counts, to run concurrently, would be appropriate.
Following his submission he made application to be removed as Cook’s counsel. Parrett granted the application “with some reluctance” telling Taylor he appreciated that the lawyer had stayed on and only withdrawn at this point (and not earlier).