Judge reopens preliminary hearing for Calgary couple charged in grandson's death

An Alberta judge has reopened the preliminary hearing for a Calgary couple already committed to stand trial in the death of a five-year-old boy.

5-year-old Eneas Emilio Perdomo died in 2015 after he was taken to hospital

Carolina Del Carmen Perdomo and Allan Edgardo Perdomo Lopez are charged with manslaughter in the death of their five-year-old grandson. (Mike Symington/CBC)

An Alberta judge has reopened the preliminary hearing for a Calgary couple already committed to stand trial in the death of a five-year-old boy.

But Justice Richard Neufeld says he expects the manslaughter trial for Allan and Carolina Perdomo will go ahead as scheduled in November.

Last August, the couple was committed to stand trial in the death of Eneas Emilio Perdomo, who died five days after he was taken to hospital in July 2015.

Eneas was Allan Perdomo's biological grandson.

Neufeld put the trial committal on hold in June.

The preliminary hearing is to reopen Sept. 19 for one day to allow the defence to question the lead investigator.

Allan Perdomo's lawyer questioned whether Neufeld has the jurisdiction to maintain a trial date while the outcome of a preliminary inquiry is up in the air.

"That indictment was quashed. I am questioning whether the Court of Queen's Bench has jurisdiction for that sort of thing. This is a very unique situation," Darren Mahoney said in court Wednesday.

"It appears when an indictment is quashed and the matter is sent back to provincial court to continue a preliminary inquiry, the jurisdiction of the matter would now be that court."

Judge expects trial to begin as scheduled

Neufeld told the Crown and defence that he still expects the trial to begin as scheduled on Nov. 13.

"I think that my decision was blindingly clear on what is expected in this case in terms of next steps and I was very specific as to what's to be done," he said.

"We are in the post-Jordan era here where everyone is expected to row in the same direction as far as getting matters dealt with in an expeditious way."

In 2016, the Supreme Court's Jordan decision imposed time limits on how long it can take for a criminal case to go to trial before it is deemed unreasonably delayed.

The ruling said people charged with an offence have the right to have their cases tried within 18 months for provincial courts and 30 months for superior courts.

Police have said Eneas had swelling and bruising all over his body when he was brought to hospital. An autopsy concluded his death was the result of multiple blunt-force trauma injuries.