The retrial for a man accused of masterminding a gang-style murder in Red Deer in 2009 has stalled before it got started.
Christopher Martin Fleig, 33, was to stand trial in Red Deer beginning Thursday for first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Brandon Neil Prevey on April 25, 2009.
Fleig was convicted of first-degree murder for Prevey’s death in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on May 31, 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Fleig, who denied being involved in Prevey’s death, appealed. In March 2014 the Alberta Court of Appeal ordered a new trial.
The new three-week trial was scrapped earlier this month after Fleig’s lawyer, Allan Fay, of Calgary, withdrew from the case on May 12.
“(Fay) said he had a breakdown in his relationship with his client,” said Crown prosecutor Rajbir Dhillon, with specialized prosecutions out of Calgary.
“Fleig said he wanted to represent himself,” he said. “Because of that situation his upcoming trial was adjourned.”
The case will be back before a judge in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday to set a new trial date.
It is unusual for someone accused of a crime as serious as first-degree murder and facing a lengthy and complicated trial to do so without a lawyer.
“The judge asked him to reconsider, which would be a wise thing for him to do,” said Dhillon. “But he does have the right to represent himself.”
Prevey, who was a well-known criminal in Edmonton and Red Deer, was hit by seven of 15 rounds that peppered a car he was in on an Inglewood street. A woman in the car with him escaped uninjured.
The Crown argued that Fleig gave the murder weapon to the shooter and instructed him to kill Prevey.
In his appeal, Fleig argued the trial judge made mistakes in law and misconstrued key evidence.