January 17th, 2021

Preliminary hearing delayed in murder trial


By Delon Shurtz on December 3, 2020.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Lawyers representing two men charged with second-degree murder are still waiting for a medical report before they can schedule a preliminary hearing for the accused.
The matter for Justin Robert White Cow and Jason James Crane Chief was in Lethbridge provincial court Wednesday but adjourned after Lethbridge lawyer Ingrid Hess said she still hadn’t received medical information about the cause of death, and has not been told when it will be available. Hess said the delay in receiving the information is also delaying the scheduling of a preliminary hearing, which is typically held to present evidence and determine whether the accused will be committed to stand trial.
Defence has been waiting for the medical information for several weeks and had hoped to schedule a date for the preliminary hearing in September.
Court was told Wednesday a pre-trial conference to discuss the case will be held Monday, and the next court hearing was adjourned to Jan. 6.
The accused, who previously elected to be tried by a judge and jury, were charged with second-degree murder in May after police responded to a report of an injured man at an apartment building in the 1200 block of 4 Avenue South. Police and EMS found the body of a 43-year-old man inside one of the units. Crane Chief, 28, was arrested May 1, four days after police found the victim’s body. White Cow, 33, was arrested on May 5.
During the evening of April 26 the victim had been inside his apartment socializing with acquaintances when a fight broke out. When a friend arrived at the victim’s apartment the following day the man was unresponsive and his friend called for help.
Police confirmed a weapon was used during the fight and drugs were being consumed at the social gathering.

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