July 14th, 2024

Woman charged in death drops out of preliminary hearing

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 20, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

One of five people charged in relation to the death of a Fort Macleod man two-and-a- half years ago has dropped out of a preliminary hearing scheduled in March.

During a brief hearing this week in Lethbridge court of justice, the preliminary hearing for Miranda Mae Turuk was “vacated,” but not for the other four accused. Calgary lawyer Shamsher Kothari told court he expects lawyers for the other accused to make similar applications in the days or weeks ahead to vacate the preliminary hearing March 11-28 for their clients, as well.

Shamsher did not explain why his client no longer wants to have a preliminary hearing, but noted he will subsequently speak to the case in Court of King’s Bench. A preliminary hearing is typically held to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.

The five accused, Turuk, Richard William Lavell, Randy Lee Giroux, Michelle Lee Toth and Edward Alexander Goodrich, are charged in relation to the death of Lane Tailfeathers, who was reported missing on June 23, 2021.

A month later his remains were found in a remote area near Crowsnest Pass, and RCMP investigators determined the 35-year-old man was killed in Fort Macleod between June 20 and June 21.

Three of the accused, Turuk, Lavell and Giroux, are charged with second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body. Toth and Goodrich are charged with accessory after the fact to murder and interfering with a dead body.

All five accused previously elected to be tried by a Court of King’s Bench judge and jury.

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