CALGARY – The man accused of murdering a young Calgary boy and his grandparents made a brief appearance in court on Thursday.
Douglas Garland is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Kathryn and Alvin Liknes, and one count of second-degree murder in the death of Nathan O’Brien.
The 54-year-old’s case has been put over until September 17th to allow the defence more time to go through a substantial amount of disclosure.
The Crown says it’s confident in its case against Garland, even though police have not yet been able to locate the bodies of the victims.
“Police have done a great job getting a fair amount of disclosure ready for defence,” says Crown prosecutor Shane Parker. “We just have to go through our final checks to make sure it’s appropriate for it to go to them.”
He says the information should be exchanged by Thursday or Friday.
“Right now it’s on a hard drive. There’s a fair bit of materials for [the defence] to go through.”
Garland’s appearance on Thursday lasted only a few minutes, and was via CCTV.
Nathan’s father Rod O’Brien was in court for a short period of time, as was Alvin Liknes’ son Allen. However, both men left before Garland’s appearance began.
Friends of the victims have started a trust fund to help support the children of Alvin and Kathy Liknes, and the parents of Nathan O’Brien.
To donate to the ‘Superheros are Real‘ trust fund – visit any CIBC location – or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money from the trust fund will help the family pay for a number of expenses they have incurred, including memorial services and legal fees.
“The family is in pieces,” explains close friend Cherri Hodgins. “Nobody is working and nobody can get back to normalcy, whatever normalcy means to us at this point.
“It’s going to take a long time for us to be able to recover.”
“This is a young family that didn’t deserve this, but does deserve our help and our support,” Hodgins adds.
Investigators probing the disappearance of the missing family recently revealed they had traveled to Mexico to follow up on leads.
Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Kathryn and Alvin Liknes, haven’t been seen since June 29th, after what police say was a violent incident in the Liknes home.
The couple had been having an estate sale and were downsizing ahead of a move to a home in Edmonton and then on to Mexico.
Police are also trying to determine if Garland could have connections to any other unsolved, violent crimes.
– With files from The Canadian Press