June 14th, 2024

Defence lawyer in manslaughter case withdraws from record

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 17, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 45-year-old man who is set to have a preliminary hearing next Spring for manslaughter, has parted ways with his lawyer.

During a brief hearing Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, lawyer Tracy Hembroff asked to be removed as counsel of record for Sheldon Nicholas LePage. Hembroff noted the split is amicable and not because there had been a break down in the solicitor-client relationship.

“I was extremely ill for three months this fall, so there was not a breakdown in communication per se, but maybe not as much communication as he would have liked,” Hembroff explained. “That was beyond my control.”

LePage, who remains in custody and attended court by CCTV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, faces one count of manslaughter, as well as single counts of failing to comply with release conditions and probation. The accused previously elected to be tried by a Court of King’s Bench judge.

The manslaughter charge relates to an incident at about 8:30 p.m. on May 5 of this year when the victim, Amber Bahadur Khadka, was approached by a man near the intersection of 8 Street and 2 Avenue North.

During an argument, the man struck 44-year-old Khadka, knocking him down and causing him to strike his head on the ground. The assailant left the area, but was found by police and arrested later in the day.

Police said the two men knew each other and the victim had been targeted by his assailant.

Crown Prosecutor James Rouleau recommended keeping the preliminary hearing dates of April 27 and 28 at least until LePage retains a new lawyer.

“Once there’s new counsel on board, then there can be a conversation with new counsel on whether those dates can be maintained,” Rouleau said.

The matter is scheduled to return to court Jan. 6.

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