Red Deer judge rejects defence bid to have second-degree murder charge stayed

Defence lawyer argued that Crown prosecutors had not turned over all disclosure evidence

For the third time, a judge has rejected a defence application to have a charge of second-degree murder stayed against a Red Deer man over evidence issues.

Most recently, lawyer Chris Archer argued that Crown prosecutors had failed to turn over all of the evidence that they are required to by law connected with the case of his client Daniel Boyd Sawyer.

Crown prosecutors say all necessary disclosure has been turned over and no stay is warranted, says the Crown.

Sawyer was charged in connection with the stabbing death of Alan Beach, 31, during a brawl outside a Village Mall pub in November, 2015.

He turned himself in nine days later and has been in custody since. He has pleaded not guilty and a jury trial is set to run Nov. 13-30 in Red Deer.

Archer was hoping to have the charge stayed, meaning the Crown prosecutor would not proceed on the charge. Crown prosecutors can reactivate charges within a year, but that is rare.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Bill Hopkins denied the application in a decision on Monday afternoon.

Evidence related to the defence application is covered under a publication ban.

It was the third time a judge has ruled against a non-disclosure application from the defence in the case.

Sawyer’s lawyer has also filed an application to have the charge stayed because the case is taking too long to get to trial.

Under a 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision, a deadline of 18 months has been set for a case to go from charge to trial in most provincial court cases and 30 months in higher courts. In what is known as the Jordan decision, the country’s top court calls for dismissal of cases that have been subject to unreasonable delays.

Justice Hopkins is expected to announce his decision on the trial delay application on Wednesday.

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