Duo com­mit­ted to stand trial


Two young peo­ple ac­cused of plot­ting to shoot shop­pers at a Hal­i­fax mall have been com­mit­ted to stand trial on sev­eral charges, in­clud­ing con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der.

A pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, which lasted a to­tal of three days, wrapped up Thurs­day for 23-year-old Lind­say Kan­tha Sou­van­narath of Geneva, Ill., and 21-year-old Ran­dall Steven Shep­herd of Hal­i­fax.

A rou­tine pub­li­ca­tion ban pro­hibits re­port­ing what was heard dur­ing the hear­ing to en­sure the ac­cused re­ceive a fair trial.

They have also been charged with con­spir­acy to com­mit ar­son, illegal pos­ses­sion of dan­ger­ous weapons and mak­ing a threat through so­cial media.

The Crown al­leges the two ac­cused, along with a 19-yearold man found dead in his Hal­i­fax home, had planned to at­tack the Hal­i­fax Shop­ping Cen­tre on Valen­tine’s Day. None of the al­le­ga­tions have been proven in court.

“We have a strong case to go for­ward on,’’ Crown at­tor­ney Mark Heerema said out­side court.

Judge Anne Derrick told the court the ac­cused are ex­pected to ap­pear in court Aug. 6 for a pre-trial hear­ing.

Out­side court, Heerema said the pair would face a jury trial in Nova Sco­tia Supreme Court.

He said it was un­clear when the trial would be held, but he sug­gested that it would likely take up sev­eral weeks in the fall of 2016.

He said the files dis­closed by the Crown to the de­fence in­clude hun­dreds of thou­sands of pages, many of them screen­grabs from so­cial media sites.

Lind­say Kan­tha Sou­van­narath ar­rives at pro­vin­cial court for a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing in Hal­i­fax ear­lier this month. Sou­van­narath and Ran­dall Steven Shep­herd are charged with con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der in a plot to open fire at a Hal­i­fax shop­ping mall.

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