Radiohead issued a statement Friday saying the group is “appalled” at the staying of charges against the people implicated in the 2012 death of the group’s drum technician, Scott Johnson, in a Toronto stage collapse. The decision “is an insult to the memory of Scott Johnson, his parents and our crew,” the group writes. “It offers no consolation, closure or assurance that this kind of accident will not happen again.”
On Tuesday a Canadian judge moved to stay the trial, saying prosecutors took too long to bring the matter forward. Judge Ann Nelson wrote that the Supreme Court of Canada has set a limit of 18 months for the case to go proceed and that the Radiohead case was on pace to last three times that long.
“This case was a complex case that required more time than other cases in the system,” Nelson wrote. “After allowing for all of the exceptional circumstances that were in play, this case still will have taken too long to complete.”
Live Nation, Optex Staging and engineer Domenic Cugliari and were hit with 13 charges a year later from the Ontario Ministry of Labour and the case went to trial but was dogged by delays, which led to a request from Live Nation to throw the charges. A mistrial was declared in May and a new hearing was set to begin on Monday.
Radiohead singer Thom Yorke tweeted “Words utterly fail me” earlier this week.
It was unclear at press time whether an appeal will be filed; Canadian law allows for stayed charges to be revived within a year of the decision.