Man facing murder charges may not contact parents
EDMONTON — An armoured car guard accused of gunning down three of his crewmates during a robbery at the University of Alberta has been forbidden to have any contact with a long list of people, including his parents.
Travis Baumgartner, 21, made his first court appearance in Edmonton on Thursday and was remanded in custody. His next court date is scheduled for July 5.
Most of the people on the no-contact list are expected to be witnesses, said chief Crown prosecutor Steve Bilodeau, who handled Baumgartner’s brief court appearance personally.
“It’s actually a pretty routine order with important witnesses,” Bilodeau said outside court. “While he’s in remand, he can’t phone them or contact them in any way.”
The order also includes several of Baumgartner’s friends and co-workers, as well as any employee of G4S Canada, the security company that he was working for at the time of the robbery.
Police say Baumgartner was one of five armed guards who were loading a bank machine at the university’s HUB mall and residence just after midnight June 15 when shots rang out.
Eddie Rejano, 39, Michelle Shegelski, 26, and Brian Ilesic, 35, died.
Matthew Schuman, a fourth guard who was badly wounded, opened his eyes last weekend and squeezed his wife’s hand before he slipped back into unconsciousness. He remains in critical condition with what have been described as head injuries.
Baumgartner faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and robbery with a firearm, but didn’t enter a plea Thursday.
He wore the standard blue prison jumpsuit and was handcuffed. Security in the courtroom included four guards. The normal complement is two.
More than a dozen onlookers filed out of the courtroom after Baumgartner’s brief appearance, but no friends or family appear to have been there.
Bilodeau said the Crown’s office is aware of the attention the case has drawn and the impact it has made on the community.
“It’s not that other homicides aren’t important. It’s that this one here rocked the community. It rocked the whole nation,” Bilodeau said. “And this is one where I really want to make sure that the community knows we will take this as seriously as possible.”
Baumgartner was picked up as he tried to get into Washington state Saturday at a border crossing just north of Lynden, Wash., near Abbotsford, B.C.
Rejano’s family released a statement Thursday thanking people for their “continued support and dedication.”
“Without you we would be lost.”