NORTH BATTLEFORD – An accused killer is seeking bail and wants a trial by judge and jury.
Court heard Tuesday that a preliminary hearing for 61-year-old Walter Jack Abbott will be held in January 2023 and he will be seeking bail.
Defence Jonathan Bodvarson told the court that two weeks are needed for the hearing that will determine if there’s enough evidence for Abbott to stand trial. Bodvarson said he anticipates approximately 26 witnesses.
A pre-trial conference is set for Sept. 21 and Judge Lorna Dyck ordered that Abbott appear by CCTV from the correctional centre that day.
Abbott has been in custody since he was arrested last fall. According to Spiritwood RCMP, they received a report around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2021, of a deceased man outside a home on Pelican Lake First Nation. EMS also responded but the 54-year-old man from Golden, B.C. was declared deceased at the scene. Police didn’t release the victim’s name but said the victim and the accused were known to each other.
The charges against Abbott haven’t been tested in court.