The trial of a Red Deer man accused of arranging a gang-style murder has gone into recess while the presiding judge reviews evidence and arguments from the voir dire.
The voir dire, or trial within a trial, was held to determine the admissibility of two statements.
The first is a statement that defendant Christopher Fleig, 28, gave to police the day he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in the shooting of Brandon Neil Prevey, 29.
Prevey, alleged to be a rival in illicit drugs trade, was killed at 3 a.m. on April 5, 2009, just after stopping his Jeep Cherokee in front of a house on Ibbotson Close in Red Deer. He and a woman with him had planned to attend a party at the house. The woman was not injured.
Witnesses testifying in the trial proper said Fleig was parked in the neighbourhood with another man and gave the order to shoot over a two-way radio.
Fleig was arrested at his home on March 29, 2010, during a meeting with RCMP investigators. He was taken to the Red Deer City detachment, where he gave a statement, and then placed in a holding cell.
Fleig’s lawyer, Allan Fay, has argued that his client’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated so his statement was not admissible.
The other statement was given by a man alleged to have found and turned in the murder weapon, but who died later of natural causes.
Darrell Phillips told police he dug up the gun, minus its magazine, while operating a skid-steer on the east side of Gasoline Alley. He showed the handgun to a store owner and police were called.
Crown prosecutors Jason Snider and Tony Bell have applied to have Phillips’ statement admitted as evidence without having the benefit of his testimony.
Evidence from the voir dire also included testimony by Red Deer psychiatrist Amar Singh, who said Fleig had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 13.
Singh said he found Fleig to be in a manic state and experiencing “delusions of grandiosity.”
Justice Kirk Sisson plans to announce his decision on the statements when the trial resumes on Thursday.