Saskatchewan

Preliminary hearing for Kelly Goforth, Richele Bear's alleged killer to begin in Regina

A judge will review evidence to determine if Clayton Eichler should stand trial in the deaths of Kelly Goforth and Richele Bear.

Clayton Eichler faces 2 first-degree murder charges

A judge is set to begin reviewing evidence Monday to determine if Clayton Eichler should stand trial for allegedly murdering Kelly Goforth and Richele Bear. (Facebook)

The preliminary hearing for a man accused of murdering two aboriginal women and violently assaulting another begins in Regina today.

Clayton Eichler, 34, was arrested and charged on New Year's Eve 2013 with the second-degree murder of Kelly Goforth. The charge was later upgraded to first-degree murder.

Goforth's body was found in a dumpster in Regina's industrial area a few months before the charges were laid. She was 21-years-old when she disappeared.

The past two years have been difficult for Goforth's mother Maxine and the rest of her family.

"It's unbearable at times. There's times where I will get a trigger and I will cry," said Maxine Goforth.    

While the family has started the healing process, she says part of their frustration has been waiting for the hearing to get underway.

"I have been losing sleep over this because I wonder, wonder, wonder. That's all I do," said Goforth.
        
The preliminary hearing for the murder charges was scheduled to be held last spring, but had to be put over to November because Eichler fired his lawyer.

Eichler faces other charges 

Clayton Eichler is charged with the first-degree murders of Kelly Goforth (left) and Richele Bear (right). (Facebook)
Eichler also faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of 23-year-old Richele Bear, whose body still hasn't been found. 

She was last seen Aug. 24, 2013. In addition to the murder charge, police allege Eichler had sex with her body after she died.    
    
The preliminary hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.

At the same time, Eichler is scheduled to appear on charges of aggravated sexual assault of yet another aboriginal woman. Eichler allegedly choked her with duct tape and a garden hose in 2012.

When Eichler was charged with the killings, police said if convicted he would be the first serial killer in Regina's history.

Goforth family hopes for closure

Maxine Goforth, the mother of Kelly Goforth, says the wait for the preliminary hearing has been "unbearable." (CBC)
Maxine Goforth hopes there won't be any more delays. But she understands and is thankful for the work police and the Crown prosecutors have put into the case.

While she knows it will be difficult to sit in court, Goforth says she is looking forward to the closure the court process could bring.

"I know that I have accepted that my baby is no longer going to come home. She will never come home," said Goforth. 

"And what I am waiting for myself as a mother is to be able to go through this court process and to be able to go to her grave and say 'Kelly, it's done.'"

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