Murder charge stayed against Rocky Mountain House man

Murder charge stayed against Rocky Mountain House man

The prosecution of a Rocky Mountain House man accused of murder has ended.

Neil Cooling, 54, was charged with second degree murder in the death of Harley Smith, 57, also of Rocky Mountain House.

The trial was scheduled to start this month and last about three weeks, but Cooling will not be prosecuted due to a stay of proceedings.

Either the Crown or a judge can stay proceedings. For judges it is a drastic ruling and typically applies when there are lengthy court delays, lost evidence or police or prosecutorial misconduct.

Smith died on Oct. 1, 2014 as a result of a stabbing. Rocky Mountain House RCMP were called to a residence that evening and Smith was airlifted to the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton. He died from his injuries.

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