Robert Steven Wright, the man charged with the 1998 murder of Renee Sweeney in Sudbury, will stand trial Oct. 25. (File)

Robert Steven Wright, the man charged with the 1998 murder of Renee Sweeney in Sudbury, will stand trial Oct. 25.

In a decision released Wednesday, Gregory Ellies, Regional Senior Judge for the Northeast Region, said the trial would begin Oct. 25 and set aside five weeks to hear the case.

The trial was supposed to begin in May, but concern that COVID-19 would force a postponement convinced Ellies to move the date to the fall.

"As defence counsel correctly pointed out, significant resources would be wasted on preparation if the trial had to be adjourned at the last moment," the judge wrote in his decision.

Wright was an 18-year-old high school senior when Sweeney, 23, was brutally stabbed to death at Adults Only Video on Paris Street, where she worked as a clerk.

The investigation into her killing produced few leads until late 2018, when Greater Sudbury Police arrested Wright while he was at work in North Bay.

Ahead of the murder trial, disclosure motions will be held March 22-25, and pre-trial motions for the case will take place June 14-18 and June 21-24.