Murder trial cancelled

A murder trial for a man accused of killing a woman and then putting her body into a recycling dumpster has been cancelled.

A murder trial for a man accused of killing a woman and then putting her body into a recycling dumpster has been cancelled.

Nathan Michael Desharnais, 26, of Red Deer faces charges of second degree murder and interference with human remains. The trial was scheduled for this week.

The body of Talia Meguinis, 27, was dumped in a recycling bin in Riverside Meadows on Feb. 22, 2012. A recycling truck picked the bin up and transported the body to a Red Deer recycling plant in Riverside Industrial Park. It was there that the body was discovered.

Desharnais’ Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench trial before a judge and jury was to start on Tuesday, but the trial was cancelled abruptly. The trial was to run until Oct. 2.

Some potential jurors only found out the trial had been cancelled on Tuesday morning when they came to the court house and were notified at the front door by signs or by Alberta Sheriffs.

It is unclear why the trial was cancelled, but Desharnais will appear in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench in arraignment court on Sept. 14 to speak to the charges.

A three-day preliminary hearing to test the strength of the Crown’s case, determining if it the matter could proceed to trial, was held on Dec. 16, 18 and 19, 2013. After that, a trial was ordered.

Desharnais was charged with Meguinis’s murder in September 2012, seven months after her body was found.

Meguinis, of Calgary, was the mother of three sons. Police said she arrived in Red Deer on Feb. 17, 2012.

The charges were laid after an extensive investigation that involved the Red Deer RCMP General Investigation Section, Major Crimes Unit, Forensic Identification Unit, Victims Services an the Police Dog Service. The Calgary Major Crimes Unit, K Division Special Tactical Operations, Polygraph Sections in both Calgary and Edmonton, Calgary Police Service and the Tsuu T’ina Police also assisted.

Police believe Meguinis and Desharnais were casual acquaintances who met over a weekend.

Desharnais is serving jail time for a June 2012 sexual assault. He was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and choking with intent to aid the commission of an indictable offence on June 27, 2014, in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench. Justice Adam Germain sentenced him to six years in custody, with four left to serve because of his pre-sentence custody.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Despite warnings, plenty of temptations to thieves left in vehicles

Lock It or Lose It campaign still finding plenty of valuables left in plain sight

WATCH: Notley invites central Albertans to “team up” with New Democrats for equitable, prosperous future

NDP leader lashes out against her rival, Jason Kenney, calling him a cheater

Red Deer sees highest rate of fentanyl deaths

47 fentanyl-related deaths in 2018

Why Solar: Canada needs to get its collective house in order

Canada needs to get a grip. The country has one of the… Continue reading

Gardening: Take care when making plant purchases

After a cold February, the longer sunny days and warmer weather triggers… Continue reading

Canadian pair fifth after short program at figure skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are fifth after… Continue reading

Director Kim Nguyen tackles financial ‘madness’ in ‘The Hummingbird Project’

TORONTO — As Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen tells it, “The Hummingbird Project”… Continue reading

What Disney gets as its $71.3B buy of Fox assets closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Most Read