June 21st, 2024

Accused in manslaughter case fires lawyer

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 5, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A southern Alberta man awaiting a manslaughter trial next year, has parted ways with his lawyer.

During a brief hearing Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, Calgary lawyer Balfour Der asked to be removed as counsel for Cullen Drake Tailfeathers, and said there had been an “irreparable” breakdown in the lawyer-client relationship.

Der was allowed to withdraw, but Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles expressed concern about the trial set for Jan. 23, 2023 and how it would be impacted.

“I’m quite concerned about the timing of the application and how that’s going to affect whether this very serious matter is going to be able to move forward,” Giles said.

Duty counsel lawyer Brett Carlson said he had already spoken with the accused’s “anticipated new counsel’s office,” and counsel was seeking a short adjournment to allow time to discuss with the Crown whether the trial could go ahead as scheduled or would need to either be cancelled or adjourned.

The case has been adjourned to next week, and Judge Gregory Maxwell told Tailfeathers, who attended court in person, that he will need to appear in court again on Nov. 9. He also told the accused to ensure his new lawyer is aware the trial date is still in place.

“At this point in time, you need to anticipate the matter is going to proceed on Jan. 23,” Maxwell said.

Tailfeathers, 27, pleaded not guilty in August 2021 to charges of manslaughter and break and enter and commit an indictable offence.

Linden Blair Grier, 33, of Brocket, Alta., was found dead in a home in Fort Macleod May 24, 2021. Police were called to the residence at 2:24 a.m., following a report that a man had been injured. Attempts to save Grier’s life were unsuccessful.

Tailfeathers, of Fort Macleod, was arrested three days later.

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