Legal surprise

Central Alberta could soon have its first judge and jury trial for a youth.

Central Alberta could soon have its first judge and jury trial for a youth.

A 15-year-old Rocky Mountain House youth elected to be tried by a judge and jury in Red Deer youth court following an appearance in Red Deer court last week.

The youth is charged with attempted murder and robbery following a stabbing earlier this month on the O’Chiese First Nation.

Patty MacNaughton, the youth’s lawyer, elected the mode of trial and waived a preliminary hearing during a successful bid to gain the boy’s freedom on bail.

But the youth, who can’t be identified because of provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, remains in custody because he faces separate charges in Wetaskiwin youth court.

The Crown has yet to decide if it wants to conduct a preliminary in the Rocky charges.

Preliminaries are held to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant an accused stand trial in the higher court.

MacNaughton said the case has now been moved to Oct. 5, to perhaps set a date for the jury trial.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms stipulates that anyone in jeopardy of receiving a sentence of five years or more has the right to a jury trial.

The maximum sentence for youths on any charge is seven years in jail.

Rocky RCMP said they responded to a complaint of a robbery and theft of a vehicle, during which a female was dragged out of the vehicle and injured.

About an hour later, the vehicle was located and a male was stabbed in the chest during a confrontation.

He suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to a Calgary hospital.

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