Man accused in Red Deer machete attack chooses jury trial

Quentin Strawberry charged with attempted murder in connection with Dec. 2 incident

A man charged with attempted murder in a machete attack last month has chosen a jury trial.

Quentin Strawberry was seated in a wheelchair — as he was in his last court appearance a month ago — when he appeared through a closed-circuit video link with Red Deer Remand Centre.

Defence lawyer Maurice Collard told Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Mitchell Wednesday his client had elected to have his case go before a judge and jury in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Collard also requested a preliminary hearing, which was set for May 22.

Preliminary hearings are held to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial. Evidence presented is subject to a publication ban.

Only an hour will be needed for the hearing, which involves “one witness, one issue,” Collard told the judge.

RCMP arrested Strawberry Dec. 2 after police were called to a downtown apartment building. When they arrived, they found a man suffering a head wound after allegedly being attacked with a machete.

Strawberry, who had been released on bail only two weeks earlier on a second-degree murder charge, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, obstructing a police officer and six counts of breaching his release conditions, which included a 24-hour curfew and an order he not possess anything intended to be used as a weapon.

Police allege Strawberry breached his release conditions Nov. 20 — the day he was released on bail — and Nov. 25 and 26.

Strawberry and co-accused Jennifer Lee Caswell, 37, were charged with second-degree murder and assault causing bodily harm in connection with the Feb. 28 death of Joseph Junior Alfred Gallant, 45, and injuring another person in Grandview.

RCMP were called to a Grandview home around midnight March 29. Neighbours phoned 911 after Gallant, who had been stabbed, called for help. The father of two died later in hospital.

A preliminary hearing for Strawberry and Caswell is set to begin Feb. 28.

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