No ban for murder trial

No publication ban has been issued for the upcoming murder trial of a Delburne man charged with killing his wife almost two years ago.

No publication ban has been issued for the upcoming murder trial of a Delburne man charged with killing his wife almost two years ago.

Edmonton lawyer Barry Zalmanowitz — hired by the Red Deer Advocate to investigate confusion surrounding the first-degree murder trial of Brian Clarence Volker — indicated this week that no ban for the March trial was ordered by Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Monica Bast at a Jan. 10 procedural hearing on the case.

Volker, 49, was charged with first-degree murder, 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, 44, was found shot dead in her Delburne home.

Brian Clarence Volker was arrested later that morning at a farm near Delburne.

Five weeks are set aside for the trial, beginning on March 7.

Zalmanowitz said the Queen’s Bench trial co-ordinator indicated there may have been some confusion regarding whether a ban had been ordered on Jan. 10.

However, when the co-ordinator contacted Bast, it was determined that no ban was in place for the murder trial.

Therefore, the name of Volker’s lawyer, Patty MacNaughton, is also not subject to a ban.

Crown prosecutor Anders Quist said earlier that the first week of the murder trial will likely involve a voir dire to decide the admissibility of some evidence. A voir dire is a trial within a trial to determine if evidence can be admitted into the trial proper. It is conducted in the absence of the jury.

The jury would be selected on the first day of the trial.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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