High-profile murder trials set to start in 2021
Calgary courts have busy year ahead with a number of headline-grabbing cases
From the trial of a man accused of murdering both his girlfriend and his parents, to one involving a nearly two-decade-old slaying, Calgary's court system will continue to churn out newsworthy events in 2021.
Trials in multiple high-profile cases are set to take place in the new year including those involving triple-murder suspect Dustin Duthie and accused killer Stephane Parent, charged in the Valentine's Day 2002 death of his girlfriend.
Other cases will involve the conclusion of the trial of a man accused of murdering his common-law wife's young daughter, the sentencing of a Calgarian who strangled his father and dismembered his body, and the trials of a British expat accused of murdering a mother and her child and a man charged with three murders — two in Calgary and one in Edmonton.
Duthie's four-week jury trial is scheduled to begin March 8, with Victoria, B.C. lawyer Ray Dieno defending him and veteran Calgary Crown lawyer Shane Parker prosecuting the case.
Duthie faces two charges of second-degree murder and one of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of his girlfriend, mother and stepfather, who were found slain in separate crime scenes.
He's accused of second-degree murder in the July 25, 2018, killing of his girlfriend Taylor Toller, whose body was found in a residence in the 2000 block of Apple-village Court S.E. the same day Duthie allegedly killed his mother and stepdad.
He faces a July 31, 2018, second-degree murder allegation in the death of his mother, Shawn Boshuck, and a first-degree murder charge in the killing of Alan Pennylegion.
Both Boshuck and Pennylegion's bodies were found that day in their home in the 1000 block of Hidden Valley Drive N.W.
In another case, Parent was arrested in February 2018 in his Gatineau, Que., home 16 years to the day after the body of his then-girlfriend, Adrienne Mccoll, was discovered in a field outside Nanton, Alta., south of Calgary.
He is scheduled to go to trial in September on a charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 14, 2002, death of Mccoll, whose body was found three days later.
Calgary lawyer Shamsher Kothari represents the accused, while Parker will also be prosecuting Parent's trial.
Meanwhile, double-murder suspect Robert Leeming is scheduled to face a four-week trial beginning the day after Thanksgiving, with high-profile criminal lawyer Balfour Der handling his defence and senior Crown lawyer Doug Taylor handling the prosecution.
The British man is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and her toddler daughter. Leeming faces two charges of second-degree murder in the deaths of Jasmine Lovett and her 22-month-old daughter Aliyah Sanderson.
The bodies of Lovett, 25, and her daughter were found May 6, 2019, in a heavily wooded area at Grizzly Creek in Kananaskis Country, 87 kilometres west of Calgary after being reported missing two weeks earlier.
In another case of note, Calgarian Jimmy Truong is set to face a six-week jury trial beginning in February into the shooting deaths of a Calgary couple and an Edmonton man in separate homicides.
Specialized branch prosecutors Brian Holtby and Adam May will handle the case with lawyer Derek Jugnauth providing his defence.
Truong is charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 20, 2016, deaths of Calgarians Cuc Lung and Quang Tran.
He was arrested in 2018 for the deaths of Lung and Tran, who were gunned down while sitting in a vehicle outside their Redstone Manor N.E. home.
A month after those killings Phu Phan was shot several times in the driveway outside his Edmonton home. Truong also faces a first-degree murder charge in that killing.
Other cases which will be making headlines will be the sentencing hearing of Zaineddin Al Aalak, who murdered his father and dismembered his body and the continuation of the trial of Justin Paul Bennett, accused of second-degree murder in the death of three-yearold Ivy Wick.