The judge presiding over the court martial of a base Gagetown soldier accused of feeding fellow soldiers cupcakes laced with cannabis has delayed her decision.
Military Judge Cmdr. Sandra Sukstorf was scheduled to deliver the decision Tuesday at 1 p.m., but it was delayed, with no reason given.
In court on Monday, Sukstorf said there was a great deal of evidence and testimony to go through.
During the trial at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, 16 witnesses testified, but Bombardier Chelsea Cogswell, the military member accused in th case, wasn’t one of them.
Cogswell is facing a total of 10 charges, including eight counts of administering a noxious substance to soldiers without their consent. She’s also charged with behaving in a disgraceful manner and committing an act to the prejudice of good order and discipline.
Cogswell is alleged to have baked cupcakes, secretly adding cannabis, and giving them to soldiers on a live-fire training exercise in July 2018, when she was in charge of the canteen.
In a video recording of an interview with a military police investigator from 2018, which was played for the court Monday, Cogswell described the culture working at the canteen, saying she was often called the “canteen bitch” by soldiers.
She also said marijuana use was rife among soldiers.
Eight soldiers testified last week about eating the cupcakes, saying they experienced fatigue, drunkenness, disorientation, confusion and paranoia. Some worried about handling guns and ammunition.
On Monday, Cogswell’s lawyer, Ian Kasper of the Toronto law firm Kapoor Barristers, asked for an acquittal on all charges, calling the evidence circumstantial. Kasper noted that none of the soldiers were tested for drugs, and only one cupcake wrapper was seized and tested by Health Canada.
The prosecution, led by Maj. Max Reede, said the evidence should be considered as a whole and in context, not as unconnected events.
Sukstorf is scheduled to deliver her decision Wednesday morning.