June 15th, 2024

Man facing an additional charge of manslaughter in Tia Blood case

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 3, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 20-year-old man facing an additional charge of manslaughter in relation to the discovery of a woman’s body late last year, appeared in court for the first time since police laid the new charge only a few days ago.

Hunter Alexander Frank, who remains in custody at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, attended court Thursday by closed-circuit TV, but only on his original charges of offering an indignity to human remains and two counts of theft under $5,000.

Frank was initially charged last October after the body of 34-year-old Tia Blood was found in the County of Lethbridge. Blood went missing Oct. 19, and her body was found five days later southwest of Coalhurst. At the time, police said the cause of death was undetermined. 

During Thursday’s court hearing, an agent for Frank’s lawyer requested the original charges be adjourned to Feb. 13 when Frank will appear on the new charges of manslaughter and drug trafficking. Unrelated charges of taking a motor vehicle without consent, drug possession, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and several counts of failing to comply with probation and release orders, were also adjourned to the same day.

In the meantime, Frank, who has not had a bail hearing, will remain in custody by his own consent. The accused was set to have a bail hearing last month and present his grandmother as surety for his release, but the bail application was abandoned after it appeared the original charges could be resolved.

When the matter returned to court on Jan. 12, it was not resolved, but adjourned again after defence said additional charges, along with additional disclosure, were expected.

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