First-degree murder trial to proceed on Monday

A first-degree murder trial involving the death of a Red Deer man in 2008 will go ahead on Monday as planned.

A first-degree murder trial involving the death of a Red Deer man in 2008 will go ahead on Monday as planned.

On Thursday, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice C. Hurley dismissed an application by defence that Brent William Crouse, 46, of Calgary had been denied the right to a fair and speedy trial.

Crouse is charged in the April 16, 2008, stabbing and beating death of Sheldon Mark Hiller, 46, whose body was found a ditch near Raven, which is about 65 kms west of Red Deer on Hwy 54. Crouse is also charged with accessory to murder after the fact and extortion for threatening Charles Richard Beckett in order to hide evidence from police.

Defence lawyer Gloria Froese said the trial failed to be held within a reasonable length of time and disclosure from the Crown came in “bits and pieces” since her client was taken into custody.

In response to Thursday’s application, chief Crown prosecutor Anders Quist told the court that Froese did not file any evidence, such as affidavits or oral evidence to backup the application, and only offered allegations to the court.

Hurley agreed that evidence was lacking and dismissed the application.

On Monday, Larry Allen Scott, 54, of Red Deer, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder just as his joint trial with Crouse was to start.

Scott was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years.

Beckett, 50, of Red Deer, pleaded guilty in the spring of 2008 to being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to time served in custody, which was about a year.

The trial for Crouse is expected to continue for about two weeks.

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