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Man charged with attempted murder of Saint John police officer faces 7th charge

Corey Clarke, 35, seen here in a photo posted on his Facebook page in 2014, remains in custody and is scheduled to be back before the court on Wednesday. (Facebook/Corey Clarke - image credit)
Corey Clarke, 35, seen here in a photo posted on his Facebook page in 2014, remains in custody and is scheduled to be back before the court on Wednesday. (Facebook/Corey Clarke - image credit)

A 35-year-old man accused of attempting to kill a Saint John police officer by allegedly stabbing him at the Canadian Tire on the west side last month is facing a seventh charge and has hired a veteran defence lawyer.

Corey James Clarke appeared in Saint John provincial court via video conference from jail Monday, when the Crown laid the additional charge of assaulting another police officer — Const. Ryan Woodman — with a weapon, on Feb. 21 at Canadian Tire in west Saint John.

Clarke was previously charged with the attempted murder and aggravated assault of Const. Jonathan Grenier, assaulting a woman with a knife, possessing a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace, mischief under $5,000 for wilfully damaging glass display cases, and resisting two officers in the execution of their duty.

Lawyer David Lutz, who has handled numerous high-profile cases over his decades-long career, appeared on his behalf.

He waived Clarke's right to a bail hearing and requested that the case be set over.

Defence considers request for psychiatric assessment

"I've got to be frank, I'm not ready this morning," he told Judge Andrew LeMesurier.

He said he spoke to Crown prosecutor Jill Knee about the case and he'd like it set over until Wednesday before Clarke enters pleas or chooses how he wants to be tried.

"And also, I want to look at NCR," said Lutz, referring to "not criminally responsible," or a psychiatric assessment for criminal responsibility.

During Clarke's previous court appearance with his former defence lawyer, the Crown noted that "putting NCR (not criminally responsible) at issue," could effectively imply admission of the act.

No details about the incident have been provided in court, but police responded to reports of a man armed with a knife threatening staff and causing damage inside the Canadian Tire store at 885 Fairville Blvd shortly after 8 p.m., Staff Sgt. Sean Rocca said after the incident.

The investigation into the officer stabbing at the Canadian Tire in the 800-block of Fairville Boulevard is ongoing, said Staff Sgt. Sean Rocca.
The investigation into the officer stabbing at the Canadian Tire in the 800-block of Fairville Boulevard is ongoing, said Staff Sgt. Sean Rocca.

Clarke now faces seven charges in connection with the Feb. 21 disturbance police responded to at the Canadian Tire on Fairville Boulevard. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

There were a number of people inside the store, including two officers, when Grenier was allegedly stabbed with a knife upon entering to help, Rocca said.

Grenier was released from hospital Feb. 23 and is recovering from his non-life-threatening injuries.

The judge agreed Monday to Lutz's request for an adjournment and asked Clarke if he understood he was waiving his right to a bail hearing. "You're not going to ever have a bail hearing on these files — is that your understanding?"

"Yes, I understand, your honour," he replied.

Clarke is also facing three charges dating back to 2017-18, in the Kingston area. He is accused of assaulting and threatening a man and then failing to attend court.

He remains in custody. Lutz said he plans to visit him at the jail on Tuesday.