John Herrera, was the victim of a vicious beating in Calgary, Alberta.
Credits: SUBMITTED PHOTO
CALGARY – Three Calgary suspects whose charges in the beating of a Colombian national have been upgraded to murder made brief first appearances in court Wednesday.
The lawyers for all three hope the more serious allegations won't derail a scheduled preliminary inquiry at the end of next month.
Chantelle Tiffany Campbell, Garrett Elliot Lee Smith and Jarod Donald Henry are each charged with second-degree murder in the May 23 attack of John Herrera-Garcia.
The trio were initially charged with aggravated assault — an allegation later upgraded to attempted murder — after Herrera-Garcia was badly beaten
But prosecutors filed new court information against them after Herrera-Garcia, 49, succumbed to his injuries last week after lingering for months in a vegetative state.
Outside court, defence lawyer Mike Kiss, who acts for Campbell, said the more serious allegations were not unexpected, give Herrera-Garcia's condition.
"We did, unfortunately, anticipate that this was going to be the case," Kiss said, after he and fellow defence counsel Willie deWit and Andre Ouellette adjourned the case to a previously scheduled Oct. 29 hearing date.
Kiss said the three-day hearing could still accommodate a preliminary inquiry on the murder charge, providing no significantly difference disclosure is forthcoming.
"At this point in time, we obviously expect some future medical evidence due to the unfortunate change in circumstances," he said. "It's still possible that these dates could end up adjourned if there is evidence (disclosed) between now and then that causes up some surprise.
"The death of the complainant was expected for some time."
Neither Campbell, nor Henry, who were in court in person, nor Smith, who appeared via close-circuit TV from the Calgary Remand Centre, spoke during their brief appearances.
Smith had been free on bail prior to his charge being upgraded and deWit said he will likely reapply for his client's release on the murder charge.
Kiss said Campbell is anxious to move the case forward.
"She's obviously concerned. She's taking the matter very seriously," he said.
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