Murder suspect recruits lawyer he rejected

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A High Prairie man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a Sucker Creek man on Nov. 19, 2021 has retained a lawyer just weeks before a scheduled preliminary inquiry.
Travis Myles Melnyk appeared in High Prairie provincial court Jan. 16 from the Edmonton Remand Centre on closed-circuit television.
He retained the services of lawyer Derek Anderson, an agent for Anderson confirmed.
“That is excellent news,” Judge S.P. Hinkley said.
He is delighted that Melnyk has a lawyer for a preliminary inquiry scheduled from Feb. 28 to March 3.
“Counsel is ready to go,” Judge Hinkley said.
Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson added Anderson received full disclosure Jan. 13.
“I want to make sure you have a trial in a reasonable amount of time,” Judge Hinkley said.
Melnyk, however, was not sure Anderson would be ready for the dates set for the preliminary inquiry.
Judge Hinkley put the matter over to Jan. 23 to confirm the dates for the inquiry with Anderson or to determine the next steps.
“If he gives me the thumbs up, we’re going ahead with the preliminary inquiry (as scheduled),” Judge Hinkley said.
If not, next steps will be discussed, he added.
Melnyk agreed with the matter going over another week to determine if his lawyer would be ready.
Anderson was appointed his lawyer when Melnyk appeared Jan. 9, but the accused refused to accept the lawyer at that time.
Melnyk is also charged with unlawful confinement.
He was 40 when he was charged by RCMP in November 2021.
RCMP Media Relations Officer Cpl. Susan Richter said the Alberta RCMP Emergency Response Team responded to a call on Nov. 19 about 5:30 p.m. when a male was taken into custody in relation to a homicide.
In the early morning of Nov. 19, Lakeshore Regional Police Service and High Prairie RCMP responded to a report of an assault with a weapon at Sucker Creek First Nation.
“Emergency Services arrived n the scene and found a 35-year-old male deceased,” Richter says.
“The initial investigation determined the circumstances surrounding the death appeared to be suspicious in nature.”
The Alberta RCMP Major Crimes Unit took over the lead in the investigation.
Police did not release the name of the victim.

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