Jury selection will be the first order of business today as a five-week murder trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench starts.
Brian Clarence Volker, 50, of Delburne, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Debi Volker, 44.
Volker is also charged with breaking and entering and committing an offence, using a firearm to commit an offence, a single count of breaching conditions of a release from custody and three counts of failing to comply with previous court orders.
The accused, who remains in custody, was charged on Feb. 23, 2009, after Debi Volker was found shot dead in her Delburne home.
Brian Volker was arrested later that morning at a farm near Delburne.
Some 10 witnesses testified at the preliminary hearing held about a year ago and the hearing was under a publication ban. Information released by the police prior to the hearing is not subject to the ban.
The victim, a mother of three children, was found dead early in the morning.
Evidence in the trial is expected to begin Tuesday with a voir dire or a trial within a trial. That evidence will be subject to a publication ban and is conducted in the absence of the jury.
However, if the justice rules at the end of the voir dire that the evidence can be entered into the trial proper, then the jury will hear it and the ban is lifted.
Chief Crown prosecutor Anders Quist, assisted by prosecutor Denis Huot, will handle the case while Red Deer lawyer Patty MacNaughton is representing the accused.
First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years.