April 23rd, 2024

Lawyer for murder suspect receives initial disclosure


By Delon Shurtz on March 31, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The lawyer for a 37-year-old woman charged with the murder of her ex-spouse last spring says he may finally be in the position to make at least some progress on the case.
Lethbridge lawyer James Rouleau told a judge Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court that he only received initial disclosure Monday from the Crown’s office, but it’s enough to discuss with his client, Melissa Dumaine White Grass, what steps to take next.
The matter has been adjourned for a week, when defence is expected to provide the court with an update on the matter.
White Grass, a decorated war veteran who was injured while serving in Afghanistan in 2010, is accused of deliberately striking and killing her ex-spouse with her vehicle last June.
She was arrested earlier this month and charged with first-degree murder, but her lawyer has been unable to take any meaningful steps without disclosure.
At about 4 p.m. on June 1, 2020, Lethbridge police responded to a report of a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian in the west alley of the 900 block of 13 Street South.
The victim, 30-year-old Austin James Forsyth of Lethbridge, was rushed to Chinook Regional Hospital where he later died.
During a subsequent news conference police said a woman struck Forsyth with her vehicle while he and another person walked in the alley. The other person walking with Forsyth was nearly struck, as well.
Although the passenger in the vehicle fled the scene, the driver remained behind and claimed the collision was accidental.
Police said, however, evidence collected at the scene and during an extensive investigation in the following months, led them to believe the incident was intentional.
At about 6 p.m. March 2 police arrested White Grass at a northside residence and charged her with first-degree murder, dangerous driving causing death, and assault with a weapon.

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