Kenneth Law will plead not guilty to first-degree murder charges: lawyer

Editor’s note: If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health there are a number of ways to get help, including by calling or texting the Suicide Crisis Helpline at 9-8-8. A list of local crisis centres is also available here.

A lawyer representing Kenneth Law says the Mississauga man, who is accused of selling sodium nitrite to people who later died by suicide, will be pleading not guilty to upgraded charges of first-degree murder.

Sources confirmed to CTV News Toronto on Thursday that Law now faces 14 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of people from regions across Ontario, including Toronto, York Region, Durham Region, London, Ont., Thunder Bay, Waterloo, and Peel Region.

Law had previously been charged with 14 counts of second-degree murder prior to the charges being upgraded.

He is also facing 14 counts of counselling or aiding suicide.

Law’s lawyer, Matthew Gourlay, confirmed to CP24 that the case wll now proceed via direct indictment, which means there will be no preliminary inquiry. It also means that Law’s scheduled appearance at the Newmarket courthouse on Tuesday likely won’t happen as the case will go directly to trial in Superior Court.

While police are not releasing any information about the individuals who died, they said the victims are between the ages of 16 and 36 and more than one is under the age of 18.

Law was arrested in May after allegedly operating a number of online storefronts to sell sodium nitrite, a preservative used for meat processing that can be lethal in large doses.

He is also accused of selling other products, such as rubber tubing and gas masks, for the purpose of suicide.

Investigators previously said they believe Law sent more than 1,200 packages that may have contained instruments for suicide to as many as 40 countries. Police said that approximately 160 of those packages were sent to addresses in Canada.

The charges against Law have not been tested in court.

With files from CTV Toronto’s Jon Woodward and CP24’s Courtney Heels 

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