Quentin Lee Strawberry

Red Deer Crown prosecutor speeds up case of man accused of machete attack

Crown prosecutor proceeds by direct indictment to go to trial without a preliminary hearing

A Crown prosecutor is using a rare legal move to speed up the case of a man accused of attempted murder in a machete attack.

Crown prosecutor Ed Ring was given approval by the province’s solicitor general’s office to proceed by direct indictment. That means the case will go to trial without a preliminary hearing, which had been scheduled for Friday.

Ring said the move has not been used often in Red Deer’s courts and is meant to reduce the amount of time it will take the case to get to trial.

Quentin Strawberry was arrested last December after police were called to a downtown Red Deer apartment building. When officers arrived, they found a man suffering a head wound after allegedly being attacked with a machete.

Strawberry was arrested and charged with attempted murder, obstructing a police officer and six counts of breaching his release conditions, which included a 24-hour curfew and an order he not possess anything intended to be used as a weapon.

The case returns to court on June 1, when a trial date is expected to be set. Strawberry had previously elected to be tried by a judge and jury.

The machete incident happened only two weeks after Strawberry had been released on bail on a second-degree murder charge.

Strawberry and co-accused Jennifer Lee Caswell, 37, were charged with second-degree murder and assault causing bodily harm in connection with the Feb. 28 death of Joseph Junior Alfred Gallant, 45, and injuring another person in Grandview.

RCMP were called to a Grandview home around midnight March 29. Neighbours phoned 911 after Gallant, who had been stabbed, called for help. The father of two died later in hospital.

A multi-day preliminary hearing on those murder charges is expected to wrap on Friday.

Preliminary hearings are held to determine if there is enough evidence to take a case to trial.

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