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Calgary man accused in double homicide fires lawyer, could go straight to trial

Emanuel Kahsai was arrested Nov. 13, 2015 in connection with the deaths of his mother, Selmawit Alem, and Julie Tran. File/Global News

A Calgary man accused of killing two women, including his mother, could end up going straight to trial.

READ MORE: Son charged in stabbing death of mother, 2nd woman in Coventry Hills home

There was a sudden delay in the court proceedings Tuesday for Emanuel Kahsai, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

A preliminary inquiry was scheduled to begin, but Kahsai dismissed his lawyer, Adriano Iovinelli, at the eleventh hour.

“I would rather represent myself,” Kahsai told the judge Tuesday morning.

Kahsai also made several outbursts talking about “electromagnetic technology” being used at the Calgary Remand Centre.

Watch below: Global’s past coverage of the investigation into the deaths of Selmawit Alem and Julie Tran

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Earlier this year, Kahsai underwent psychiatric testing and was deemed fit to stand trial.

READ MORE: Accused in double homicide in Calgary’s Coventry Hills found fit to stand trial

Selmawit Alem and Julie Tran were found stabbed to death in Alem’s Coventry Hills home on Oct. 19, 2015.

Alem, 54, was a caregiver for Tran, 25.

At the time, Alem had an emergency protection order against Kahsai.

READ MORE: ‘It’s hell’ – Loved ones of Calgary murder victims struggle through holidays 

Provincial Court Judge Peter Barley will announce Thursday if the case will proceed by direct indictment—which means the case would go directly to trial without a preliminary inquiry.

“I’ve been told it’s a good thing,” Susan Hills told Global News after court. Hills was Alem’s best friend.

She said if this will make the trial happen faster, it’s a positive step, but admits she is still struggling to cope with the loss.

“There’s really no relief. We live it everyday.”

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