A Lethbridge manslaughter trial against two men has taken an abrupt detour while lawyers try to convince the judge to free their clients on bail.

With the six-week trial for Simon Danny Scout and Rylan James Twigg not even half over, Scout’s lawyer, Vincent Guinan, argued Tuesday to have his client freed on bail.

Madam Justice Johna C. Kubik is expected to give her decision on Scout’s bail today, after which court will determine when to hold Twigg’s bail hearing, possibly as late as Friday.

The two accused were initially charged with second-degree murder in November 2017 after EMS were called to a home in the 1200 block of 9 Avenue North, where police determined Kenrick First Rider had been involved in a verbal dispute with two men at the home. The dispute escalated into a fight in which First Rider was killed. The Crown later changed the charge to manslaughter.

Although the trial is into its third week, the judge has been hearing evidence during a voir dire – a mini trial within a trial – to determine whether Twigg’s statement to police after he was arrested should be admitted into the trial proper, and whether he was given reasonable opportunity to seek legal advice.

Lethbridge lawyer Ingrid Hess, who represents Twigg, has launched a Charter application and argues Twigg’s statement should not be admissable since he was intoxicated at the time and didn’t have the “operating mind” to understand the implications of what he was saying. And although Const. Anthony Tupper testified last week that he read Twigg his rights during the interview Nov. 27, 2017, Hess believes the officer should have cautioned Twigg again during a second interview the following day when he was no longer intoxicated and better able to understand what was happening.

Article written in the Lethbridge Herald