Sarnia man charged with second-degree murder stays in custody

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The Sarnia man charged with second-degree murder after police launched a homicide investigation this past weekend was kept in custody Wednesday.

Timothy Noj, 32, was told by justice of the peace Helen Gale he’ll have to apply for bail in the Superior Court of Justice due to the type of charge he’s facing. Gale also ordered a publication ban on evidence heard in court and banned Noj from contacting eight people.

Noj, arrested at a local motel shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday, was represented in court Wednesday by Neil Rooke. The Windsor-based criminal defence lawyer said he’s only received “limited” disclosure and pointed out the investigation is still active.

Gale adjourned the case to Feb. 3 for an update on disclosure and the investigation. Noj will stay in custody until then, Gale added.

A pair of unrelated charges of theft with a value less than $5,000 previously laid against Noj was also adjourned to that day.

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Luis Hernandez, 26, was taken to hospital Saturday evening, where he was later pronounced dead, Sarnia police said.

Hernandez leaves behind his mother and brother and other family members and friends in Colombia, according to an online obituary. A private family service was held Monday, it said.

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Luis Enrique Martinez Hernandez. Obituary Supplied

Hernandez and Noj were known to each other, a Sarnia police spokesperson sai, but whether a weapon was involved in the alleged incident was not being disclosed.

Sarnia police investigate a homicide on Sunday January 10, 2021 in Sarnia, Ont. Terry Bridge/Sarnia Observer/Postmedia Network
Sarnia police investigate a homicide on Sunday January 10, 2021 in Sarnia, Ont. Terry Bridge/Sarnia Observer/Postmedia Network Photo by Terry Bridge /Terry Bridge/The Observer

The yard around unit 19 at 914 Confederation St. was cordoned off Sunday as police canvassed the south-end Sarnia townhouse complex. Neighbours reported being asked by police whether they heard gunshots, saw anyone fleeing or if they had security cameras.

Meanwhile, charges previously laid against Hernandez dating back to 2019 were withdrawn this week due to his death. They included possession with a value more than $5,000, failing to appear in court, two counts of failing to appear for fingerprinting, public mischief, assault with a weapon involving an imitation firearm, theft with a value less than $5,000, unlawful entry, and forcible entry, the Lambton Crown attorney’s office confirmed.

@ObserverTerry

tbridge@postmedia.com