A murder trial that was set to take place in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench has been adjourned pending a fitness assessment of the accused.
Christopher Fleig, 30, who was charged in what police have called a gang-style execution, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years in June of 2012.
Fleig was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2009 shooting death of Brandon Prevey, 29. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder against Nick Soto but that charge was dropped during the trial.
In 2014, Fleig appealed and was awarded a new trial, although his original conviction and sentence was upheld pending the outcome of the second trial. He remains in custody.
The second trial was supposed to begin in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 9th. But concerns over Fleig’s fitness to stand trial were raised by his lawyer Allan Faye. Fleig was reportedly not taking his medication and a fitness assessment was ordered.
On Nov. 13th, a teleconference was held to hear results from the fitness assessment. Dr. Ken Hashman, a psychiatrist at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatric Centre, deemed Fleig fit to stand trial as he had begun taking his medication again.
The trial was then to commence on Nov. 16th, but again, Faye raised concerns over Fleig’s fitness to stand trial. Fleig, who sat in the prisoner’s box for the discussions, could be seen mumbling to himself throughout the proceedings.
“Despite my belief things would go ahead, we are no better off than we were last Monday morning,” said Faye. “When I spoke to Mr. Fleig on Friday, he seemed better, but the concerns that I had last Monday have resurfaced. Mr. Fleig has told me he has not been taking his medication and he has made statements and his behaviour has caused me concern that he is not fit to stand trial.”
A 30-day fitness assessment was ordered and Fleig will undergo that assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatric Centre under Hashman’s care.
Meanwhile, Prevey was shot and killed in what police say was a gang-style execution while sitting in his vehicle in the Inglewood area of Red Deer during the early morning hours of April 5, 2009.
While testifying on the stand in the initial trial, Fleig denied he had any involvement in the murder and was in the area at the same time as the shooting to visit a friend a couple of blocks away.