Judge delays decision on whether a murder case took too long to get to trial

Defence lawyer wants second-degree murder charge stayed in connection with 2015 stabbing

A Red Deer judge wants more time to consider whether the case of a man charged with murder has taken too long to go to trial.

Daniel Boyd Sawyer was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of Alan Beach, 31, during a brawl outside a Village Mall pub in November 2015.

He turned himself in nine days later and has been in custody since. He has pleaded not guilty and a jury trial is set to run Nov. 13-30 in Red Deer.

Sawyer’s lawyer has filed an application to have the charge stayed arguing the case is taking an unreasonable amount of time to get to trial.

Under a 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision, a deadline of 18 months has been set for a case to go from charge to trial in most provincial court cases and 30 months in higher courts. In what is known as the Jordan decision, the country’s top court calls for dismissal of cases that have been subject to unreasonable delays.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Bill Hopkins was expected to announce his decision on Wednesday morning. However, he said he wanted more time to consider the matter and will announce his decision on June 25.

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