Defence not ready, murder trial adjourned

A murder trial that was supposed to start earlier this week was adjourned because the defence was not ready to proceed.

A murder trial that was supposed to start earlier this week was adjourned because the defence was not ready to proceed.

The month-long Court of Queen’s Bench trial was scheduled to start on Tuesday in Red Deer.

At the last minute, the trial dates were dropped.

Nathan Michael Desharnais, 26, of Red Deer is charged with second-degree murder and interference with human remains.

The body of Talia Meguinis, 27, of Calgary was found at the recycling plant in Red Deer in the Riverside Industrial Park on Feb. 22, 2012. Red Deer RCMP said the body was put into a dumpster in Riverside Meadows and was found when a truck collected the recycling from the dumpster and dropped it off at the recycling centre.

On Wednesday, Alberta Justice confirmed that the trial was adjourned at the request of defence counsel, who was not ready to proceed with the trial.

Defence counsel Arnold Piragoff was appointed by the Alberta Legal Aid Society to represent Desharnais in October 2012 and remains Desharnais’ counsel of record.

Piragoff represented Desharnais at an aggravated sexual assault trial in 2014. Desharnais was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and choking with the intent to commit an indictable offence. He was sentenced to six years in jail, but had four years left to serve due to his time spent in custody before the trial.

A new court date will be set for the murder trial on Sept. 14 in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.