Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

The delay of the trial for an Eckville man killed in his fifth-wheel is the fault of the Crown, says defence attorney.

The three-week jury trial of Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka, 46, was delayed from it’s May 7 start date due to “concerns about disclosure.”

Gulka’s defence attorney Michael Scrase says the Crown did not disclose items to the case, such as information to an ongoing investigation into the case, before the scheduled trial date.

Last week Crown prosecutor Adam May disclosed to Scrase statements, transcripts, disclosure to a witness interview and information about another witness expected to be called. The information handed over was thousands of pages long.

“Those 4,500 pages should have been disclosed to me two years ago,” Scrase told Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ken Nielsen.

At the hearing on May 18, Scrase called the non-disclosure of information the reason why the trial was not going ahead as planned.

Further, the application submitted by the Crown was “little more than a diversion.”

Scrase says Gulka has waited too long for his trial, on charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder, and the charges should be stayed.

The lack of disclosure on the Crown’s part is being called an “abuse of power.”

Crown prosecutor Adam May says he has turned over all evidence to Scrase.

Gulka is facing one count each of kidnapping and first-degree murder in connection with the death of Bradley Webber, 46, in October 2006.

It is alleged Gulka is one of two men who kidnapped an unnamed man on Oct. 24, 2006. The two are said to have forced the kidnapping victim to give up the name of an associate, who was living in a recreational vehicle northwest of Eckville.

The two men allegedly went to the RV and shot Webber, who died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Gulka was charged on March 9, 2016.

A 30-month deadline to go from charges to trial set by the Supreme Court of Canada in a 2016 decision will be up on Sept. 9.

The case will return to court on June 4 when the judge will be updated on is expected to happen during trial dates tentatively set for the first two weeks of September.

During those two weeks, the judge will hear the application about the trial delay and possibly other applications from the defence about the conduct of the Crown prosecutors office.