By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 3, 2024.
Several people charged in relation to the death of a Fort Macleod man two and a half years ago may resolve their matters without a trial.
Although the accused were set to have a preliminary hearing next month to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial, the Crown said Friday in Lethbridge Court of Justice that discussions with defence are continuing and the matter is “headed toward resolution.”
The five accused, Miranda 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.
During a brief court hearing on Jan. 18, Turuk was granted leave to drop out of the preliminary hearing, but her lawyer, Shamsher Kothari of Calgary did not offer an explanation at that time. The preliminary hearing, which was to include the other four co-accused, has subsequently been cancelled.
The matter is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 22 to speak to resolution discussions.