A man accused of first-degree murder for his role in a Red Deer gangland-style slaying in 2009 made a bizarre court appearance on Monday.
Christopher Martin Fleig, 33, was in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench to set a date for his retrial on the murder charge.
Crown prosecutor Ed Ring said Fleig had said in a court appearance last month that he intended to represent himself after ties were cut with his Calgary lawyer Allan Fay.
When Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Douglas Mah sought confirmation from Fleig as to his intentions, Fleig responded with a stream of incoherent mumbled comments punctuated by bouts of laughter.
At one point, he appeared to say, “I’m right here. I’m a lawyer. What do you want?”
As he stood in the prisoner’s dock, he stared intently into the gallery, pointing at something while mumbling about lawyers. He did a full turn while standing before continuing his indecipherable comments.
Several times Mah told Fleig he was having difficulty understanding him. He eventually gave up and called a temporary adjournment, sending Fleig back to the cells.
A much more subdued Fleig returned later in the morning and it was determined he intends to represent himself.
His six-week trial was set for Jan. 7 to Feb. 15, 2019.
Fleig was to begin a three-week trial in Red Deer beginning last Thursday for his alleged role in the shooting death of Brandon Neil Prevey on April 25, 2009.
Fleig was convicted of first-degree murder for Prevey’s death in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on May 31, 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Fleig, who denied being involved in Prevey’s death, appealed. In March 2014 the Alberta Court of Appeal ordered a new trial.
Ring said on Monday that if Fleig represents himself six weeks for trial would be required. Should Fleig get a lawyer, three weeks would suffice.
Fleig’s mental health and fitness to stand trial have been raised as a concern previously. He was examined by a psychiatrist, and it was determined in 2016 he was fit to stand trial as long as he took his medication for bipolar disorder.