Vader sets inquiry date
By: By Megan Sarrrazin
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 06:00 am
EDSON – Travis Edward Vader, accused of killing St. Albert couple Lyle and Marie McCann, will face a preliminary inquiry in a Stony Plain court next year.
Vader, 40, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of the seniors who disappeared more than two years ago.
Neither defence lawyer Anna Konye nor Crown prosecutor Michelle Doyle were present in Edson Provincial Court Tuesday.
Jan TerHart, the lawyer acting as an agent for Konye, set the preliminary inquiry for Sept. 9 to Oct. 25 in Stony Plain.
During a preliminary inquiry, the Crown is tasked with presenting its case to the judge, who then determines if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial. It is often the first step in indictable criminal offences.
If sufficient evidence is present, the case will progress to a trial.
Individuals charged with indictable offences also have the right to choose how they wish to be tried, whether it is by judge or judge and jury.
“Vader wanted to enter an election for judge alone, but the Crown prosecutor isn't consenting, so for now the election is judge and jury,” TerHart said.
Vader made his first appearance on the charges May 15, but has since reserved plea. The case has been put off several times since that appearance, including a three-week adjournment on Oct. 2 for lawyers to complete a pre-trial conference.
Vader was charged with two counts of first-degree murder on April 18, nearly two years after police first named him as a suspect in the slayings.
Lyle McCann, 78, and Marie McCann, 77, were last seen alive on July 3, 2010 as they departed St. Albert in their motor home to visit family in British Columbia.
The pair failed to arrive at their destination and two days after their departure, the burnt-out shell of their motor home was found near Minnow Lake campground outside of Edson. Their SUV, which was being towed behind the motor home, was found a few weeks later.
Police believe the McCanns were killed July 3, 2010 near Peers, Alta., which is roughly 40 kilometres east of Edson.
Vader has been in police custody since July 19, 2010 on numerous other charges and remains in custody without bail in connection with the murders.
Late last week, Vader was granted a mistrial for the series of drug- and firearm-related charges. His sentencing was scheduled for early September, but was adjourned until Oct. 19 after Doyle disclosed that two witness statements were not provided to the defence.