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Crime and courts 2014 preview

By: Amy Crofts

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 01, 2014 06:00 am

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The new year will be busy for the provincial judicial system as two long awaited trials – cases that have gripped residents of St. Albert and Morinville – are set to begin in 2014.

Travis Vader

Travis Vader, the man accused of killing St. Albert residents Lyle and Marie McCann in 2010, will stand trial in 2014 for double murder.

The trial is expected to last two weeks with jury selection scheduled for April 24 and the trial slated to begin on April 28 in Edmonton.

The McCanns were last seen in July 2010 as they departed St. Albert, bound for British Columbia for a family visit. The burnt-out shell of their motorhome was discovered at a campground near Edson a few days later. The McCanns’ bodies have never been found.

Vader was formally charged in April 2012, nearly two years after he was named a suspect in the killings.

A six-week preliminary hearing was scheduled for September 2013 but was cancelled by the Crown in order for the case to go straight to trial.

The investigation into the disappearance of Lyle and Marie McCann is still open and ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or the St. Albert RCMP at 780-458-7700. There is a $60,000 reward for information relating to their whereabouts.

Christine Laverdiere

Christine Laverdiere, a Morinville woman accused of murdering a 21-month-old foster child in 2010, will face a jury in January.

The toddler was taken to hospital with serious injuries then died two days later. An autopsy concluded the 21-month-old girl had been a victim of homicide. Laverdiere was the child’s foster mother.

Reports stated the toddler had been in foster care for the two months preceding her death. She was also apparently shuttled between two different foster homes shortly before she died, one of which was a respite home.

Laverdiere was released on a $5,000 no-cash bail in 2010, with strict bail conditions including a ban from being in the company of children under the age of 16, including her own daughter. She has been ordered to stay away from schools, parks, playgrounds, pools or any other place where children might gather.

Laverdiere’s jury trial begins Jan. 13 in Edmonton.


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