Gulka murder trial delayed until late 2018, Jordan application pending

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
May 18, 2018 - 2:15pm

The defence lawyer for a man accused in a 2006 Eckville murder says a Jordan application is forthcoming.

“One-hundred per cent for certain,” Michael Scrase told Justice Ken Nielsen Friday in a Red Deer courtroom.

A successful Jordan application allows charges to be stayed if the case takes longer than 30 months to go through the courts.

Scrase is representing Shayne Gulka, 46, who is accused of kidnapping one man, as well as in the first-degree murder of Bradley Webber on Oct. 24, 2006 in the victim's fifth-wheel trailer. Gulka's co-accused, Kevin Brown, died in March.

Gulka’s trial was supposed to start earlier this month and last three weeks, but it was delayed due to concerns brought forward by Scrase with respect to disclosure of evidence by the Crown.

Scrase reiterated those worries Friday as the parties determined how to move forward.

"It’s a chicken and egg situation because if it was an abuse of process by prosecutors to not provide me with disclosure, typically the remedy is adjournment," Scrase said after court let out. "The adjournment is pushing us past the Jordan date."

In Gulka’s case, the Jordan date is Sept. 9 of this year, 30 months after he was charged on March 9, 2016.

However, the Crown argues there have been extenuating circumstances, Scrase explained, as they were awaiting the results of a somewhat similar murder trial in Calgary.

Both sides now have several weeks to file certain documents before they will present the arguments for their applications, including the Jordan application, from Sept. 4-14 in a series of voir dires.

New trial dates are yet to be set, but it could either happen in short after after the voir dires, or later into the fall. The judge noted that not only is he out of the country in late September, but he has other murder trials in Edmonton and Grande Prairie to work during October and November.

The matter returns to court on June 4 so dates can be finalized.

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