Murder witness accused of hiding evidence and lying on the stand

Charges of perjury and accessory to murder have been laid against a woman who was among the witnesses at a grisly trial held in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench more than five years ago. Janessa Desiree Eliuk, 24, was called to testify on Feb. 19, 2008, in the trial of a Blackfalds man who was accused of killing a Red Deer man in a fit of rage.

Charges of perjury and accessory to murder have been laid against a woman who was among the witnesses at a grisly trial held in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench more than five years ago.

Janessa Desiree Eliuk, 24, was called to testify on Feb. 19, 2008, in the trial of a Blackfalds man who was accused of killing a Red Deer man in a fit of rage.

The lifeless body of Grant Shoemaker, 21, was discovered by a friend and neighbour in his West Park townhouse on June 8, 2008. Shoemaker had suffered 34 knife wounds in the attack.

White, 18 at the time, was arrested later that day and charged with second-degree murder.

He was found guilty during his 2008 trial and sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 13 years. However, the conviction was later overturned and a new trial ordered by the Alberta Court of Appeal.

A second trial was set for Edmonton in 2011, but was declared a mistrial and a third trial was ordered.

White pleaded guilty at the outset of his third trial to a lesser charge of manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Conditions of a sentencing agreement between the Crown and his defence counsel include a provision that he serve at least half of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Eliuk was arraigned in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Friday on one charge of perjury in connection with her testimony in White’s first trial.

She is also charged with two counts of accessory to murder in connection with bloodied evidence alleged to have been hidden from police investigating Shoemaker’s death.

Red Deer lawyer Brad Mulder, acting as agent for the lawyer who will represent Eliuk, entered a plea on her behalf along with her election to be tried by Queen’s Bench judge and jury.

Eliuk is to return to court on Aug. 9 to set dates for her trial.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

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