Judge to rule if murder case involving missing Alberta seniors should be tossed

EDMONTON - A judge is to decide today whether a trial will go ahead for a man charged with murder after the mysterious disappearance of two Alberta seniors.

See Full Article

Lawyers for Travis Vader have argued the case should be dropped over alleged abuse of process.

Vader was initially charged in 2012 with first-degree murder in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann.

The couple, in their late 70s, was last seen two years earlier fuelling up their motorhome in their hometown of St. Albert, a bedroom community north of Edmonton.

The Crown stayed the charges against Vader in 2014, days before his trial was to begin, after discovering the RCMP had failed to disclose some evidence.

Charges were re-laid nine months later and Vader is scheduled to go to trial before a judge alone in March.

His lawyers have argued the case should be thrown out because the disclosure problem resulted in an extra two years getting it to trial.

If Justice Denny Thomas decides the trial must go ahead, they want all evidence collected after the charges were stayed in 2014 to be excluded.

The Crown has admitted Vader's charter rights were breached by the “egregious disclosure mess” and says Mounties have since made changes to the way they handle disclosure in major investigations.

Prosecutors argue that the trial should proceed because of the serious nature of the charges and in the interest of society.

The McCanns, whose bodies have never been found, had been on their way to a family camping trip in British Columbia.

Their burned-out motorhome was discovered in a wooded area near Edson, west of Edmonton, two days after they were last seen at the gas station. The SUV they had been towing was also found concealed in another location.

RCMP have said they believe the seniors were killed in the area, near the hamlet of Peers.

Court documents were made public in recent weeks and revealed that RCMP believe forensic evidence, an undercover sting and some of the couple's personal belongings tie Vader to the crime.

The documents have not been tested in court.

In a pretrial conference memorandum on Dec. 2, 2013, the Crown alleges Vader used the couple's cellphone on the last day they were seen alive.

It says Lyle McCann's hat with a bullet hole in it was found in the SUV, along with Marie McCann's blood.

Media reports say other documents say a beer can in the vehicle had Vader's DNA and fingerprint on it and that a man told police Vader had given him a ruby ring that belonged to the McCanns.

About two dozen officers posed as members of a criminal organization looking to recruit Vader, the documents say. His sister was also involved in a scenario with officers.

Documents further suggest an RCMP witness who was paid $22,000 offered to tell officers where the couple's bodies are if he got more money.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • South Korean military court convicts gay soldier over sex

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - A South Korean military court has sentenced an army captain to a suspended prison term for having sex with a fellow male soldier. Human rights groups have criticized the ruling as regressive, saying it further intimidates the country's already persecuted sexual minority groups. Source
  • Trump, Pope Francis to meet at Vatican

    World News CBC News
    Concluding his tour of the ancestral homes of the world's three largest monotheistic religions, U.S. President Donald Trump is poised to call on Pope Francis, the famously humble pontiff with whom he has publicly clashed. Trump, midway through his gruelling nine-day maiden international journey, will meet the pontiff at the Vatican early Wednesday where the two will have a private audience laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol. Source
  • Trump set to meet Pope Francis

    World News CTV News
    ROME - Concluding his tour of the ancestral homes of the world's three largest monotheistic religions, U.S. President Donald Trump is poised to call on Pope Francis, the famously humble pontiff with whom he has publicly clashed. Source
  • Texas Senate rejects 'bathroom bill'

    World News CTV News
    AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Senate is planning to reject a House attempt to revive the transgender "bathroom bill" and seek a conference committee to reconcile differences in proposals that each chamber passed on the issue. Source
  • Police should have moved in earlier in Sydney cafe siege, coroner says

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia - Police responding to a deadly hostage crisis in a Sydney cafe underestimated the gunman's threat and should have stormed the building earlier, rather than waiting to act until the gunman had killed a captive, a coroner said Wednesday after concluding a 2- 1/2 year inquiry. Source
  • Hardening 'soft targets' won’t stop terror attacks: experts

    World News CTV News
    Security officials around the world are scrambling to harden so-called “soft targets” -- plentiful and vulnerable civilian gathering sites like night clubs, outdoor festivals and outside stadiums -- in the wake of the latest deadly bombing attack. Source
  • Strong winds knock out power to 10s of thousands across B.C.

    Canada News CBC News
    A strong blast of cold windy weather has hit B.C. hard, resulting in power outages in communities far and wide across the province. As of 7:30 p.m. PT, there were over 50,000 customers without power, with significant outages in Prince George, Quesnel, Salmon Arm, Parksville, Pender Island, Oak Bay, Saanich, and throughout the Lower Mainland. Source
  • Families may boycott delayed MMIW inquiry as deadline approaches

    Canada News CTV News
    Families of missing and murdered indigenous women gathered on Parliament Hill Tuesday to voice their anger over the lack of progress in the inquiry. “We’re losing our loved ones even now,” said victim’s family member Jocelyn Wabano-Iahtail. Source
  • Manchester bomber identified as local man of Libyan descent

    World News CTV News
    MANCHESTER, England -- The man who police say blew himself up in a packed concert arena in Manchester, killing 22 people, did not make a strong impression on his neighbours. Residents of the Manchester suburb of modest brick semi-detached homes where 22-year-old Salman Abedi lived remembered seeing the tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress. Source
  • Sickened, disgusted by Manchester terror attack, but not afraid

    World News Toronto Sun
    For some this would have been their very first concert, a ticket they’d received as a special Christmas gift or purchased with babysitting money they’d been saving for months. On social media, they and their fellow Arianators had been counting down the days until they would finally see Ariana Grande in concert. Source