A third trial has since been ordered and Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench was hoping to sort out the exact dates for it Monday, which is expected to take up to eight weeks of the court’s time.
Lawyers for the Stephans are in the middle of a leave to appeal application with the federal Supreme Court. If the court decides to hear their case, the lawyers would discuss whether or not a third trial needs to happen, and if it does, what are all of the elements that need to be proven by the crown in order to secure a guilty conviction.
At this point, there have been three separate judgments on the Stephans’ case with two from their pair of trials and one from the Alberta Court of Appeals to overturn the not guilty verdict in the second trial.
It is expected to take a while before those discussions could potentially happen, so in the meantime, they argued in front of the Alberta Court of Appeals last week to see if the trial can be delayed until there is a verdict from the Supreme Court of Canada.
The appeals court ruled that the third trial should be scheduled anyways, and if there are any issues with the case involving the supreme court, the trial dates could then be moved.
Defense attorneys Jason Demers and Jason Buckley are concerned about having to line up a set of witnesses now only to have to possibly reschedule everything later.
There is also the matter of whether witnesses, including the co-accused, will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be able to appear in court in person for the trial. This was something raised by the Alberta Court of Appeals although it is not clear at this point whether or not this will be a requirement.
The court hopes to set up a time to discuss all of these matters with the Case Management Office.
The Stephans are set to return to court late this month, where trial dates are anticipated to be set.