Murder suspect Melnyk rejects appointed lawyer

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 was given more time to get a lawyer for a scheduled preliminary inquiry.
Travis Myles Melnyk, appeared in High Prairie provincial court Jan. 9 from the Edmonton Remand Centre on closed-circuit television.
Court heard a lawyer was appointed to take on Melnyk’s case, but the accused refused to accept the lawyer.
“I’m not OK with this,” Melnyk said.
He added he has contacted another lawyer, but not retained counsel.
Appearing in court Dec. 19, Judge S.P. Hinkley requested Melnyk get a lawyer by Jan. 9 to be ready for a preliminary inquiry scheduled from Feb. 28 to March 3.
“You are getting close to those dates,” Judge Hinkley told Melnyk.
“You are in jeopardy of losing them.”
Judge Hinkley set the matter over to Jan. 16 to confirm the dates for the preliminary inquiry and give Melnyk time to retain a lawyer and speak with Legal Aid.
Melnyk also told court he also been waiting for disclosure he requested but said the Crown would onloy provide disclosure to his lawyer.
Melnyk is also charged with unlawful confinement.
Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson said it’s important to get disclosure to a lawyer soon.
“It’s a large amount of disclosure,” Hudson said Dec. 19.
The judge estimated disclosure will take a long time to review.
“This is not a weekend’s worth of reading,” Judge Hinkley said.
“This will take a week.”
Melnyk 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 by police 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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