Sawyer Robison to stand trial on attempted murder charges
Accused of shooting two RCMP officers southeast of Edmonton in 2012
A Camrose judge has ruled there is enough evidence for Sawyer Robison, the man accused of shooting and wounding two Mounties in a rural Alberta stand-off, to stand trial for two counts of attempted murder.
Robison is also charged with 15 weapons offences in connection with the shooting of RCMP constables Sheldon Shah and Sidney Gaudette during a standoff with officers on the family farm near Killam on Feb. 7, 2012.
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Sawyer's lawyer, Brian Beresh, expects it may take a year or longer for the case to get to trial.
But he said his client is eager for it to start.
"He's looking forward to the day when he can establish his innocence," Beresh said Friday following the court decision in Camrose.
Details from the preliminary hearing, and Judge David Plosz's reasons, are subject to a publication ban.
Robison had also been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his uncle, Bradford Clark, but that charge was dropped after the crown prosecutor concluded there was no reasonable likelihood of a conviction.
Beresh, accused the Crown of 'malicious prosecution' for laying the charge in the first place.
"In our view, there was never reasonable grounds for that charge to be laid,” Beresh said.
Following Friday's ruling, Beresh expressed disappointment that the trial would go forward.
“These are difficult cases and the test is very low for a preliminary inquiry. It has nothing to do with proof of guilt at all. It's a very minimal test. So we're disappointed, but we're prepared to fight on.”
Meanwhile, crown prosecutor Rod Clark supported Plosz’s ruling.
“A very experienced judge made what I thought was a very sound decision. And he obviously disagreed with Mr. Beresh on the evidence.”
Robison was freed on bail Friday, with a trial date to be set in January.
With files from Janice Johnston and The Canadian Press