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

  • Bautista leads Jays past Yankees in likely final home game

    Canada News CBC News
    Jose Bautista had two hits, drove in one run and scored another to help lift the Blue Jays to a 9-5 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday in what was likely his final home game in a Toronto uniform. Source
  • 1 dead, 7 hurt in Tennessee church shooting

    World News Toronto Sun
    NASHVILLE — A masked gunman entered a church in Tennessee on Sunday and opened fire, killing at least one person and injuring seven others before apparently shooting himself, an official said. Don Aaron, spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department, said the gunman arrived at the parking lot in a blue vehicle as services were ending at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in the neighbourhood of Antioch. Source
  • Mass exodus of Rohingya slowing down but many still trying to flee Myanmar

    World News CBC News
    The massive exodus of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar to escape brutal persecution appears to have slowed down, but several recent refugees say tens of thousands more are huddled near beaches or in forests waiting to escape. Source
  • Airstrikes hit Syria's Aleppo despite ceasefire

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- Airstrikes have targeted rural Aleppo in northern Syria Sunday for the first time in months since a cease-fire took hold in the province, killing one, activists and a war monitoring group said. Also Sunday, the Central Military Media, affiliated with the Syrian government, reported that Iranian drones successfully struck vehicles of the Islamic State group along the Syria-Iraq border in the south. Source
  • Toronto trust-funder Blake Leibel accused of torture killing

    World News Toronto Sun
    — “People come to Los Angeles to be someone else. And when you have that little self-esteem, terrible things are bound to happen.”— Black Dahlia author James Ellroy ••• Toronto trust-funder Blake Leibel’s bleak existence consists of hours of nothingness in the Los Angeles County Jail. Source
  • UN council to discuss report calling on Canada to address anti-black racism

    Canada News CTV News
    NEW YORK, United Nations -- The UN Human Rights Council is set to discuss a report on issues affecting African-Canadians that makes recommendations to the federal government, including that it apologize for slavery and consider providing reparations for historical injustices. Source
  • Hurricane Maria set Puerto Rico back decades: official

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico's nonvoting representative in the U.S. Congress said Sunday that Hurricane Maria's destruction has set the island back decades, even as authorities worked to assess the extent of the damage. Source
  • Baghdad orders Kurdistan region to hand over borders, ports

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- Iraq's central government in Baghdad ordered the country's Kurdish region to hand over all border crossings and airports to federal government control late Sunday night, hours before the region is set to carry out a controversial referendum on support for independence. Source
  • Engineers inspecting Puerto Rico's cracked dam that could 'collapse at any minute'

    World News CBC News
    Puerto Rico's government says engineers will inspect the Guajataca Dam on Sunday to determine the extent of damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria last week. The dam in the northwest corner of the island was cracked, but had not burst by late Saturday. Source
  • Merkel wins 4th term but nationalists surge in German vote

    World News Toronto Sun
    BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel was widely expected to win a fourth term in office as Germans went to the polls on Sunday in an election that is also likely to see the farthest right-wing party in 60 years, the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, win seats in parliament. Source