Accused murderer’s case held over, search called off
By: Christina Waldner
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:43 am
Douglas Garland, 54, the Airdrie man accused of the murders of Calgary’s Alvin and Kathy Liknes and Nathan O’Brien, made a brief court appearance in Calgary Provincial Court on July 16.
Garland appeared via CCTV from the Calgary Remand Centre where he remains in custody.
He has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder of the Liknes’ and Second Degree Murder of O’Brien, 5, despite no bodies having been found.
Crown Prosecutor, Shane Parker, and Garland’s lawyer, Kim Ross, agreed to have the case held over to Aug. 14 as they await the collection and disclosure of the evidence, known legally as the discovery process.
Parker and Ross spoke to media outside the courtroom.
“Bodies provide a whole lot of evidence for a jury,” said Parker. “They provide a whole lot of evidence from a forensic standpoint for the police. Without that, we’re missing a few bullets.”
Parker said it’s usual for discovery to take 30 days.
“It’s a little more challenging in this case because of the speed of the investigation, and really how it’s been transitioning through the course of the two weeks with coordinating both a homicide investigation and a missing person investigation,” he said.
Ross said he will wait until discovery is complete to decide if he will file a bail application on Garland’s behalf.
On July 19, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) distributed a press release saying as part of the ongoing search of a rural property in Airdrie, they have partnered with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to utilize their equipment to assist in the search. An NRC plane flew over the property throughout the weekend.
CPS and RCMP called off the search of a rural property belonging to Garland’s parents northeast of Airdrie on July 19 at approximately 6 p.m., according to Emma Poole, a CPS spokesperson. The property was handed back to the family at that time.
CPS released a statement on July 17 that said they had a 30-day plan in place to guide them as they continue with the ongoing investigation into the case.
They continue to search other locations.
The statement from CPS said they do not require assistance from the public to search public property, prompting a civilian search organized by a group in Airdrie to be called off. CPS also asked rural property and business owners to check their own land for anything suspicious. See related story on page 3.