A Red Deer man and a woman charged in a marijuana grow operation bust face the daunting task of defending themselves before a judge and jury.
Aaron Joseph Schaefer, 30, and Sylvia MacIntyre, 28, will return to Red Deer provincial court on May 13 for a preliminary hearing, it was determined on Thursday.
Both will represent themselves.
Schaefer said he wanted a trial by a Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench justice and jury. He could have selected a justice sitting alone or had his trial in provincial court before a judge only.
Judge Harry Gaede told Schaefer he should retain a lawyer because of the complexity of running a case in front of a jury.
Schaefer told Judge Harry Gaede that he can’t afford a lawyer and can’t afford the $10 to make the token down payment for a Legal Aid Society of Alberta appointed lawyer.
MacIntyre only said she would defend herself.
Both face several charges, including child endangerment, in connection with a drug bust that police said netted an estimated $120,000 worth of marijuana.
Red Deer Rural RCMP said earlier they busted an alleged marijuana grow operation in a residence at a trailer court near Burnt Lake Trail west of Red Deer on June 10.
The search was part of an ongoing investigation.
A three-year-old child was in the home. The child was removed and placed with other family members.
Federal Crown prosecutor Luke Kurata said the only piece of disclosure that hasn’t been given the accused was a certificate verifying the plants seized were marijuana.
The search turned up a marijuana grow operation including 97 marijuana plants.
Both accused face charges of production of a substance, trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of endangering the health of a child who was three years old at the time.
Schaefer also adjourned a Traffic Safety Act charged to May 13.
Schaefer, holding a pack of papers, asked the judge if he would receive a “fair and meaningful” hearing.
“That’s not up to me to judge,” Gaede said.
— copyright Red Deer Advocate