Preliminary hearing begins for man accused of killing Calgary boy, grandparents

A Calgary courtroom is packed today for the start of a preliminary hearing for a man accused of killing a child and his grandparents.

CALGARY — A Calgary courtroom is packed today for the start of a preliminary hearing for a man accused of killing a child and his grandparents.

Douglas Garland was arrested last year after the disappearance of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O’Brien.

Garland, who is 55, sat quietly in the prisoner’s box wearing a blue jumpsuit.

Friends and family of both the victims and the accused are in court for the hearing, which is set for two weeks.

Garland faces two counts of first degree and one of second degree murder in relation to the incident last June.

The bodies of the victims have not been found.

Nathan had been sleeping over with his grandparents last June, after they held a sale at their Calgary home in advance of a move to Edmonton and then Mexico.

When his mother went to pick up Nathan the next morning, no one was home.

Police have said there was evidence of a violent encounter in the house, but have not disclosed a motive.

Investigators have combed through several properties surrounding the area near Airdrie, north of Calgary, where Garland lived. A search last year went on for weeks and police resumed looking for evidence in the same area in March.

The preliminary inquiry is to determine whether there’s enough evidence to send the case to trial.

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