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

  • Rocket attack hits near U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- A rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy, an Iraqi military spokesman said. The apparent attack, which Iraq's state-run news agency said did not cause any casualties, came amid heightened tensions across the Persian Gulf, after the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region earlier this month to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran. Source
  • RCMP say hiker's body recovered after fall from mountain near Canmore, Alta.

    Canada News CTV News
    CANMORE, Alta. -- RCMP say a hiker's body has been recovered after he reportedly fell from a mountain west of Calgary. Police say they were called Sunday afternoon to Heart Mountain for a report that a 21-year-old man had fallen 18 metres. Source
  • Halifax group wants one-fifth of construction jobs reserved for African Nova Scotians

    Canada News CTV News
    A grassroots group in Halifax is demanding that 20 per cent of construction jobs and contracts related to a major redevelopment project be set aside for African Nova Scotians. Halifax is planning to redevelop the Cogswell Interchange area into a mixed-use community with parks, bike lanes, shops and a transit hub. Source
  • Five NDP votes in Labrador to determine status of N.L. Liberal government

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The deciding seat in Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberal minority setup came from a surprising race in Thursday's election, with an NDP political rookie unseating a Liberal cabinet minister by a slim margin. Source
  • Trayvon Martin's mom announces run for office in Miami

    World News CTV News
    FILE - In this July 26, 2013, file photo, Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, holds up a card with a photo of her son as she speaks at the National Urban League's annual conference in Philadelphia. Source
  • Republican calls Trump's conduct 'impeachable,' Trump calls him a 'loser'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A key Democrat said Sunday that Republican Rep. Justin Amash's sharp criticism of what he called President Donald Trump's "impeachable conduct" in the Russia investigation isn't enough to count as bipartisan support to launch impeachment proceedings. Source
  • Commencement speaker announces he's paying off debt of all 400 graduates

    World News CTV News
    A billionaire technology investor stunned the entire graduating class at Morehouse College when he announced at their commencement Sunday that he would pay off their student loans ---- estimated at $40 million. Robert F. Source
  • What's on your mind, Canada? Your MP wants to know

    Canada News CBC News
    The 2019 election campaign is already underway - the CBC News Canada Votes newsletter is your weekly tip-sheet as we count down to Oct. 21. Reading this online? Sign-up for the newsletter and receive it every Sunday. Source
  • Anti-money laundering staff at Deutsche Bank flagged Trump, Kushner transactions: NYT

    World News CBC News
    Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank AG recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving entities controlled by U.S. President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial crimes watchdog, the New York Times reported on Sunday. Source
  • Day-long lines for gasoline form in oil-rich Venezuela

    World News CBC News
    U.S. sanctions on oil-rich Venezuela appear to be taking hold, resulting in kilometres-long lines for fuel in the South American nation's second-largest city, Maracaibo. Some drivers said they'd had to wait almost 24 hours to fuel up, and people have been grabbing cat naps on the hoods of cars or in truck beds. Source