Tag Archives: Court

First draft done; 2nd Twitchell charge dropped

MELBOURNE — With my first draft of the book on the Mark Twitchell case completed this week, I wanted to revisit a legal decision that had a major impact before and after the first-degree murder trial.

Back in mid-June, about two months after Mark Twitchell was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Johnny Altinger, the Crown stayed an attempted murder charge related to his first alleged victim.

This decision to drop the second charge may seem odd to those who have followed the case closely. Detectives were adamant they had gathered a mountain of evidence — much of it revealed during the murder trial while even Twitchell himself admitted on the witness stand to committing the attack.

So why abandon it? The reasons can actually be found within the various pre-trial motions that set a path through the legal system that was pretty hard to change once it was decided upon.

In preparing the case for trial, the Crown had argued in court for both the attempted murder and first-degree murder charges be heard simultaneously as they were part of the same “transaction” of allegedly becoming a “serial killer.”

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Twitchell murder trial begins

EDMONTON — Jury selection has been completed in Mark Twitchell’s lengthy court proceedings, leading the way for a criminal trial to begin later this week.

Twitchell is charged with the first-degree murder of Johnny Altinger, a 38-year-old who vanished in October 2008.

After seven hours of deliberations today, a jury of 12 people and two alternates was selected from a pool of 192 people.

The trial will begin at 1.30pm on Wednesday, March 16th and is expected to run no later than the end of April. Over 70 people are expected to be called as witnesses.

I won’t be blogging or tweeting any of this case over the next four to six weeks as I’ll be focused solely on research for the forthcoming book (to be published by McClelland and Stewart).

Anyone with information about this case can contact me at 780-802-3835 or via e-mail at steve [at] stevelillebuen [dot] com.

There’s always the post office too:

PO Box 403   Stn. Main
Edmonton, AB   T5J 2J6

Anonymity is guaranteed.

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