By Shurtz, Delon on March 3, 2020.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Blood Reserve man who never showed up for his manslaughter trial Monday.
Stanley Big Sorrel Horse was scheduled to stand trial in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench this week, but when he never showed up for court and authorities were unable to find him, a warrant was issued and the trial was adjourned for a day.
“At this time, we have no idea where Big Sorrel Horse is,” Crown prosecutor Michael Fox told the judge.
Lethbridge lawyer Tracy Hembroff said she had contacted the accused’s father last week and urged her client to turn himself into the police. And even though she didn’t think he was on the run, and suspected he might be looking for a ride from the reserve to Lethbridge on Monday, no one was able to track him down.
The trial could begin today if the accused is caught, but Hembroff is expected to ask for an adjournment, anyway, because she has a severe eye infection and is having difficulty seeing.
“I can’t read anything,” she told court.
Fox also said he was concerned about Hembroff’s ability to defend her client during a trial when she can’t read or take notes.
The matter is back in court today to see if Big Sorrel Horse has been found. The judge will also speak to Hembroff’s application for an adjournment.
Big Sorrel Horse, 38, is accused of killing Rance Bearhat two years ago on the Blood Reserve. Shortly after 11 p.m. Feb. 23, 2018, Blood Tribe police responded to a report of a man in distress. Bearhat, 26, was taken to the hospital but pronounced dead, and RCMP Major Crimes South took over what was determined to be a murder investigation.
The accused and his brother, Justin Big Sorrel Horse, were initially charged with second-degree murder, but the charge against Justin was later stayed by the Crown. Alberta Justice said in a prepared statement, even though the brothers were charged on the basis of initial evidence obtained by investigators, Justin would likely not be convicted.
The murder charge against Stanley was replaced several months later with manslaughter.
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