The accused at the centre of a murder case involving a prominent Saskatoon lawyer has been remanded for another week following a Tuesday appearance in Prince Albert Provincial Court.
Judge M. Baniak adjourned the matter in response to a request by the defence to transfer the accused to a psychiatric ward in Saskatoon, following a previously ordered assessment at Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.
“I don’t think the issue is assessment anymore,” Crown prosecutor Cynthia Alexander said.
“The assessment has been completed. That’s facilitated through the Criminal Code. So I would say it’s more a matter of treatment at this point.”
The accused, who is facing murder charges related to the death of 64-year-old Ian Buckwold, will make his next court appearance on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 10 a.m.
Though the Criminal Code allows for a defendant to be sent to Saskatchewan Hospital for a 30-day period to assess his or her fitness to stand trial, the hospital itself is not a remand facility.
As a result, the accused will likely remain at the Prince Albert Provincial Correctional Centre until he can legally be moved to a psychiatric facility.
Over the course of the coming week, the defence will decide whether they wish to waive the right of the accused to a preliminary trial and consent to move straight on to Queen’s Bench for the second-degree murder trial.
The assessment has been completed ... I would say it’s more a matter of treatment at this point. Cynthia Alexander
The preliminary trial serves as an opportunity to test the available evidence.
“The Crown quite often calls the majority if not all of its evidence at the preliminary inquiry and it’s a testing of that evidence,” Alexander said.
“Sometimes there are arguments at the end of a preliminary inquiry (as to) what charge the accused should stand trial on. In a second-degree murder situation, sometimes there are arguments made that he should only be committed for trial on a manslaughter or on some other charge. So he’d be giving up that right.”
Decisions should be made on Aug. 27 regarding whether a preliminary inquiry will go ahead prior to the Queen’s Bench trial, as well as where the accused will be housed in the meantime.
Police filed murder charges against the accused after finding the body of Buckwold, a well-known mental health advocate, inside an Emma Lake residence on Sunday, July 14 following a sudden death complaint.
Alvin Buckwold, 31, is facing one count of second-degree murder.