A preliminary hearing got underway on Monday for a Red Deer man facing first-degree murder and arson charges in connection with a fatal March 2022 fire in West Park.
RCMP said at the time they were called to a structure fire about 3:30 a.m. on March 31, 2022 on 39th Street near 54th Avenue in West Park.
Red Deer Emergency Services determined the fire started in the basement of a multi-unit residence. A man and a woman were found inside a unit and taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The 21-year-old woman died from her injuries in hospital. Police said the cause of death will not be released.
Raymond Richard, then-37, was later released from hospital and then arrested by police. The preliminary hearing in Red Deer’s Court of Justice before Justice Jim Glass is scheduled for three days but is expected to wrap sooner.
A preliminary hearing is used to determine if there is enough evidence to take a case to trial.
Evidence presented during a preliminary hearing is covered by a publication ban.