Man charged in bar killing appears in court

DIDSBURY — A man accused of driving a pickup truck into a group of people standing outside a bar in Olds, killing an 18-year-old, has made a brief court appearance.

DIDSBURY — A man accused of driving a pickup truck into a group of people standing outside a bar in Olds, killing an 18-year-old, has made a brief court appearance.

Jeffrey Kevin Leinen, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nicholas Baier, 19, a student at Olds College.

Another 19-year-old, who is also a student at the college, was also injured and taken to hospital, though he was later released.

Leinen arrived at court in Didsbury on Wednesday under tight security, while friends of Baier’s glared at him.

Jen Casavant, owner of the Texas Mickey Bar, says she was there the night of the accident and called it “a true tragedy.”

Bar staff have said they ejected an intoxicated and beligerent man that night after he started throwing punches at patrons.

But defence lawyer Andre Ouellette said there are two sides to every story.

“There are allegations that my client was involved in beating up people inside the bar,” he said.

“Well, the information I’m getting from different people is that my client was beaten up inside the bar, that in fact there may have been a chokehold used against him by some of the door people.

“Things are never quite as simple as they seem.”

Ouellette has also argued the Crown has “way overcharged” Leinen.

He said a conviction on first-degree murder can be difficult to prove, especially when it comes to premeditation.

The next court date in the case is Nov. 22.