Trial set for man accused in 2006 Eckville murder

Two-week trial scheduled in April 2019 for Shayne Earl Gulka

A Lacombe man facing first-degree murder and kidnapping charges has a new trial booked.

Shayne Earl Gulka has been charged in connection with the death of an Eckville man in 2006. Gulka was arrested and charged in March 2016 for his role in the death of 46-year-old Bradley William Webber, who died from multiple gunshot wounds in October 2006.

It is alleged Gulka was one of two men who kidnapped an unnamed man on Oct. 24, 2006 and forced him to give up the name of an associate, who was living in an RV northwest of Eckville.

The two men allegedly went to the RV and shot Webber.

Whether Gulka’s rescheduled trial, set for April 1-12, will go ahead is unclear.

Defence lawyer Michael Scrase intends to argue in court in September that Gulka’s case has taken an unreasonably long time to get to trial.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2016 trials in higher courts must happen within 30 months of charges being laid. 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.

Under the top court’s timeline, Gulka’s trial should happen by Sept. 9.

Scrase has also been critical of Crown prosecutors, arguing in a previous court appearance that they have been slow to turn over evidence. The delays in turning over disclosure amount to an “abuse of process,” he said.

The Crown prosecutor said all evidence has been turned over as required and some court delays have been caused by the defence.

The disclosure issues meant Gulka’s trial, originally scheduled for May, did not go ahead.

A second man, Kevin Edward Brown, of Calgary, was also charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping but died in March.

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