Douglas Garland appears in court, dates set for preliminary inquiry

CALGARY – The man accused of murdering a young Calgary boy and his grandparents made a brief appearance in court on Wednesday.

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.

READ MORE: Who is Calgary triple-murder suspect Douglas Garland?

The 54-year-old appeared in court in person, wearing a blue prison uniform.

His preliminary inquiry has been set for May 19th to 29th, 2015.

It will determine if Garland should be committed to stand trial.

“It was a mutual decision between the Crown and myself to request a preliminary inquiry,” explained defence lawyer Kim Ross. “I think something of this complexity and nature requires a preliminary inquiry.”

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“It gives us a chance to test drive some of our evidence, make sure where we’re at with behind the scenes work,” adds Crown prosecutor Shane Parker. “It gives us a chance so we’re ready when the jury trial is slated to go.”

TIMELINE: Missing Calgary family Nathan O’Brien, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes

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.

READ MORE: Defence group files complaint over Douglas Garland’s ‘perp walk’