Accused killer held in Stettler hospital for threatening suicide before murder

Savage escaped from hospital hours before allegedly killing a Stettler man

A man charged with second-degree murder of a Stettler man was being held at the Stettler hospital for self-harm and threatening suicide before escaping and allegedly killing a man, federal prosecutor Gordon Hatch told the court May 10.

John Roland Savage, 51, made a second court appearance in Stettler provincial court via CCTV from Edmonton Remand Centre May 10. Savage is charged with second-degree murder and seven counts of failing to comply with release conditions, theft under $5,000 and possession of a controlled substance.

On April 6 before 2 a.m. Stettler RCMP received a report of a suicidal male with a machete. The individual was Savage. He had less than a gram of marijuana on him when arrested.

“Police put him under arrest under the mental health act,” said Hatch. “A machete was found concealed under his shirt.”

In April, Stettler RCMP confirmed that Savage was arrested in Stettler the morning of April 6 and taken to the Stettler hospital where he was placed under watch by hospital security. Savage, however, fled the hospital sometime that afternoon – hours before he allegedly killed James Hulkovich, 70. Hulkovich lived about half a block from the Stettler hospital.

On April 6 RCMP found Hulkovich deceased in his Stettler home and made a plea to the public to help locate a white 2008 Ford F-150 truck that belonged to the victim.

On April 7 at about 8 p.m., police located the truck on Hwy 13 near Wetaskiwin and took two adult males and females into custody. Savage was injured during the arrest and taken to an Edmonton hospital. Police released the other male and two females without charges. While in the hospital, RCMP Major Crimes Unit (MCU) charged Savage with second-degree murder on April 10.

An autopsy by the Calgary Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on April 10 determined Hulkovich’s death was a homicide.

Defence lawyer Jason Snider – who is a former seasoned Red Deer crown prosecutor – asked the court on May 10 for an adjournment on the second-degree murder charge to give him time to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

“It (preliminary inquiry) will likely be multiple days,” said Snider.

Savage pleaded guilty to failing to comply with release conditions and theft.

According to the crown, Savage was under conditions since Dec. 17, 2017, that required him to live where approved and to remain in his home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. On Feb. 24 Stettler police did a curfew check at 10:16 p.m. and Savage wasn’t at home.

Snider told the court that Savage admits he got home late that day after his curfew.

On April 1, 2018, Savage was charged with stealing from Walmart. Crown told the court that Savage self-scanned $66 worth of items at the checkout but left the store without paying. He was later identified through video surveillance.

Snider told the court that Savage had difficulty paying for the items and was under pressure to finish.

“He was on medication and made a bad decision,” said Snider. “Fines are appropriate for these offences. Savage was going through a rough time and ithappened when he was under prescription drugs. “

The judge fined Savage $100 for breaching conditions and $200 for theft.

Savage reappears in court June 14 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Just Posted

STARS launches 26th annual lottery worth over $4.5 million

Lottery raises money for new helicopters to serve Western Canada

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Legendary artist Amos Garrett heads to the City next month

Central Music Festival Society presents Garrett and Julian Kerr Feb. 9th at the Elks Lodge

City council wraps up operational budget talks with a 2.15% municipal tax hike

Budget talks completed after eight days of deliberations

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Most Read