Murder case drags on for victim’s family

Frustrating, but not surprising is how the mother of a woman murdered almost three years ago describes the latest delay in court proceedings against the man accused of the killing.

Frustrating, but not surprising is how the mother of a woman murdered almost three years ago describes the latest delay in court proceedings against the man accused of the killing.

Jenna Cartwright, 21, disappeared from her Red Deer home in March 2011.

Her partially-clothed body was found early in May 2011 in a ditch near Olds.

On June 20, 2011, police arrested Bashir Gaashaan of no fixed address in Thunder Bay, Ont.

He was charged with first-degree murder, unlawful confinement and committing an indignity to human remains.

Gaashaan, 31, was returned to Alberta, where he remains in custody awaiting trial.

He had asked to be tried by judge and jury in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

He has been represented by Red Deer defence counsel Will Willms and jury selection was scheduled for Monday morning.

However, the trial was scuttled on Thursday, when Gaashaan went before the court to announce that he had fired his lawyer.

Cartwright’s mother, Lynda Cartwright, said from her home later in the day that she had been anticipating the move.

“Eventually, it will go to trial … I’m realistic. I know these things can happen,” she said.

Gaashaan and Willms had made a number of court appearances in the months following the arrest and had negotiated a guilty plea to be dealt with early last year.

However, Willms announced in court on Feb. 19, 2013, that his client had changed his mind.

Gaashaan entered a plea of not guilty, and was subsequently arraigned in the Court of Queen’s Bench, with his trial scheduled for Feb. 4 to 21 of this year.

Regardless of what happens to Gaashaan, nothing will bring Jenna back, said Cartwright.

The delays have been frustrating for her and for Jenna’s twin sister, Marissa. Thankfully, at five years old, Jenna’s daughter, Jayda, is too young to feel the effects of the delays, she said.

Gaashaan is scheduled to return to court on April 7 to set a new trial date.

He is also scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Red Deer provincial court on Feb. 28 on other charges, including assault, flight from police, drugs, weapons and breaching release conditions.

Preliminary hearings may be requested by the defence to test part or all of the Crown’s case against an accused person before proceeding to trial.

Just Posted

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

RDSO plays ‘rousing’ Scottish tunes to celebrate Robbie Burns Day

Violinist Kai Gleusteen will solo at the Jan. 26 show at RDC Arts Centre

Updated: Sylvan Lake council adopts waterfront plan

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan to guide development for next 20 years

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Shaw getting ready to raise prices for its main residential service, CEO says

CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Team World sweeps opening day against Team North America at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS — Team North America has some serious ground to make… Continue reading

SXSW to screen ‘Run This Town,’ which includes Rob Ford character

TORONTO — A drama that features a portrayal of the late Toronto… Continue reading

Fans buy ‘Little House on the Prairie’ star’s memorabilia

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — More than 200 items belonging to “Little House… Continue reading

Most Read