Man charged in murder of Red Deer woman will wait almost a year for trial

A man charged with murdering a Red Deer woman and then interfering with her body will have to wait almost a year for a preliminary hearing.

A man charged with murdering a Red Deer woman and then interfering with her body will have to wait almost a year for a preliminary hearing.

Bashir Gaashaan, 29, of no fixed address, will have a five-day preliminary hearing beginning on Nov. 7, 2012, in Red Deer provincial court.

Gaashaan is charged with the first-degree murder of 21-year-old Jenna Cartwright, whose body was found in a ditch about 14 km northeast of Olds on May 3. RCMP confirmed earlier that the death occurred in Red Deer.

Gaashaan will have the hearing on charges of first-degree murder, interfering with a dead body, unlawful confinement and trafficking in a narcotic in charges laid last June 20.

Cartwright was reported missing by her family on April 12. She was last seen in Red Deer on March 29.

Defence lawyer Will Willms told court that the lengthy delay is due to the fact he wanted to have the hearing dates together. The hearing, which is held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant the accused to stand trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench, will run from Nov. 7 to 9 and Nov. 13 to 14, 2012.

Gaashaan, who remains in custody, will be tried by a judge and jury.

Willms said his client, who appeared by closed circuit television, won’t launch a bail bid in Red Deer Queen’s Bench for some time.

Willms said the RCMP hasn’t completed all the forensics work, of which he is entitled to have a copy.

The accused also faces numerous charges on unrelated matters, including cocaine trafficking.

Those charges will follow along with the murder charge and will be dealt with in relation to the outcome of the more substantive murder allegation.

Gaashaan was arrested in Ontario and returned to Alberta in late June.

The earliest a Queen’s Bench trial could be held if the accused is ordered to stand trial there is early 2014.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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