Two trials needed to deal with lengthy list of charges

Two trials will be set for a man facing a long list of 26 charges, including several firearms offences. Michael Alois Schaab, 42, is accused of trafficking cocaine and methamphetamine and numerous firearms offences.

Two trials will be set for a man facing a long list of 26 charges, including several firearms offences.

Michael Alois Schaab, 42, is accused of trafficking cocaine and methamphetamine and numerous firearms offences. He was arrested during a police search of a rural property near Markerville last spring.

On Thursday, in Red Deer provincial court, his counsel Andrew Phypers entered elections of two trials by a judge alone in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Phypers requested a preliminary hearing for both trials. Preliminary hearings are held to test the strength of the Crown’s case before heading to trial.

Because Schaab faces two sets of charges, one prosecuted by the Federal Crown and one by the Provincial Crown, the two trials were necessary.Crown Prosecutor Maurice Collard said the provincial charges would take about 90 minutes. Those charges include forcible entry, being unlawfully in a dwelling house, assault causing bodily harm and breach of an undertaking.

Federal Crown Prosecutor Dave Inglis and Phypers agreed the federal charges would take longer, possibly two days. Judge Bert Skinner ordered a pre-hearing conference to discuss the length of the preliminary hearing.

The federal file charges include six counts of unsafe storage of a firearm, seven counts of failing to comply with an undertaking, four counts of possession of property obtained by crime and several other drug trafficking, weapons and explosive charges.

The lengthier set of charges will return to Red Deer provincial court on Oct. 29 to set a preliminary hearing date.