The preliminary inquiry started Monday in Pictou County for a man accused of killing Amber Kirwan in 2011.  

Convicted killer Christopher Alexander Falconer faces charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder in Kirwan's death.  


Amber Kirwan, 19, disappeared in October 2011. Her remains were found a month later. (New Glasgow Police Service)

Kirwan, 19, vanished in October 2011 after a night out with friends in New Glasgow. On Nov. 5, 2011, her remains were found in a wooded area off Heathbell Road, about a half-hour drive from the pool hall where she was last seen.

At the time Kirwan disappeared, Falconer was out on parole after serving time in prison for the second-degree murder of a cab driver in 1998.

While police ruled Kirwan's death a homicide, they didn't say when or how she was killed.

Before the preliminary hearing, both the Crown and defence huddled outside the courtroom. Both sides agreed on a number of Crown exhibits and witnesses, which is expected to shave some time off the preliminary that was originally set for 15 days. 

"This is the largest, volume-wise, that I've been involved in," said Crown prosecutor Bill Gorman. 

Lawyers also agreed on a sweeping publication ban. 

"It's a real concern.  We can't stop people from talking about the case. All we can do is ask them not to and the court will order that they not publish it anywhere," said Crown prosecutor Patrick Young.

Fifteen days have been set aside for the preliminary hearing.  

The hearing will determine if there's enough evidence to proceed with the first degree murder charge in the trial.