Warrant issued for man charged with arson

A Red Deer man accused of setting a trailer on fire now has a warrant for his arrest, after he missed the start of his preliminary inquiry.

A Red Deer man accused of setting a trailer on fire now has a warrant for his arrest, after he missed the start of his preliminary inquiry.

Randy Evans, 31, faces a charge of arson for the Nov. 4, 2013, burning of a Mustang Acres mobile home.

He was due in Red Deer provincial court on Monday for a preliminary hearing into the Crown’s case against him. The hearings are held to test the strength of the Crown’s case to determine if it is sufficient to go to trial.

Evans’ counsel Kevin Sproule told Judge Jim Hunter that he had lost contact with Evans a few months ago and had not spoken to him recently.

Sproule sought leave to withdraw as counsel of record for Evans, leaving the accused person without a lawyer.

Prosecutor Ed Ring canvassed the courtroom for Evans and had police make inquiries in the hallway to see if Evans had shown up to his scheduled court date. He had not.

Ring asked Hunter for a warrant, which was granted.

Red Deer Emergency Services was called to the fire at 6834 59th Ave. at 2 p.m. on Nov. 4. Crews took about 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

No injuries were reported as no one was home during the fire. Nearby mobile homes were not affected by the fire.

Evans was arrested on Nov. 5, 2013, after the investigation into the cause of the fire determined it was intentionally set.

Daniel Land, who owned the trailer, was renting it out at the time. He previously told the Advocate he had been trying to evict the tenants for a number of months due to missed rent payments.

Land had served the tenants with court-ordered eviction papers on Nov. 1, 2013, ordering them out by noon on Nov. 5, 2013. At the time, Land had already sold the trailer and was waiting to turn over possession of the unit.

Evans’ preliminary inquiry was originally scheduled for Jan. 2 but it was adjourned then to Monday.

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