Declining the right to a preliminary hearing will speed up the process for the trial of a young man charged with killing a Red Deer woman.
Brett Donald Jones, 20 — charged with first-degree murder of Teagen Klein, 23 — waived a scheduled January preliminary through a lawyer acting as an agent Tuesday in Red Deer provincial court Tuesday.
Jones will now have a court date set early next month, court heard.
Red Deer lawyer Dave Inglis, acting as Calgary lawyer Alain Hepner’s agent, gave no reason, as is customary, for declining the preliminary during a brief appearance with Jones present in the prisoner docket.
Jones was set to have the preliminary on Jan. 18-22. He will now go directly to Court of Queen’s Bench on Dec. 7 to set a date for a judge and jury trial.
Now the preliminary is out of the way, an earlier trial date should be set for Jones who remains in custody.
If the preliminary had proceeded it couldn’t have made its way to Queen’s Bench until the March arraignments had the provincial court judge ruled there was sufficient evidence.
Waiting until March could have delayed the trial until possibly next fall since major trials aren’t held during the summer.
Preliminaries are held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant an accused stand trial in Queen’s Bench.
Jones is also charged with two counts of robbery with violence, unlawful confinement, assault causing bodily harm and theft of less than $5,000.
Klein was discovered dead in her Anders subdivision home last Feb. 4.
Jones is also accused of assaulting a young boy whose name was placed on a court-ordered publication ban. The toddler was treated in hospital for injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.
Jones, who remains in custody, is also accused of stealing Klein’s vehicle, some cash and a debit card.
Authorities have not said how Klein died.
First-degree murder carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years. However, a convicted person can make an application through the faint hope clause for early parole after 17 years.