Suspect in Napoleon murder case appears in court

The suspect in a three-year investigation into the murder of a Blueberry River First Nations woman gave a bizarre characterization of his feelings in court on Wednesday afternoon.

Leon Wokeley made a brief, three-minute appearance in a Fort St. John courtroom on murder, arson, and indignity to human remains charges in connection with the death of Pamela Napoleon in 2014.

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"Happier than a pig on a new pile of sh*t," Wokeley said with a laugh after sheriffs asked him if he was "all right" as he was led out of the court.

Wokeley, dressed in a baggy black shirt and blue jeans, said little else as Judge Rita Bowry adjourned his matter to Nov. 29 to give the Crown more time to vet its case and provide disclosure documents to Wokeley's defence lawyer.

It's unclear what Wokeley meant by his comments. His lawyer, Georges Rivard, declined comment, saying he did not hear them.

Crown counsel Peter White also declined comment on the case following the adjournment.

Meanwhile, dozens of Napoleon's friends and family members had gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing to release heart and flower-shaped balloons in her memory before packing the courtroom benches. A representative for her family declined comment after the hearing, noting the family was upset about Wokeley's remarks.

Wokeley, 42, was arrested in Fort St. John Oct. 27 and charged with second degree murder, arson, and indignity to humans after a three-year investigation into Napoleon's death.

Police say Wokeley and Napoleon knew each other, and were last seen leaving Blueberry River First Nation together on July 8, 2014. Napoleon's remains were found in a burned down cabin near the community a month a later. Dental and medical records had to be used to confirm her identity. Napoleon was 42.

Wokeley, also from Blueberry River, will next appear in court via video on Nov. 29 at 2 p.m.

He has not entered a plea, or been found guilty of the charges.

editor@ahnfsj.ca

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