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Jury selection underway for Douglas Garland, accused triple murderer in Nathan O’Brien case

WATCH ABOVE: Jury selection is underway for the trial of the man accused of killing 5-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes. Global’s Tracy Nagai reports.

Hundreds of people were at the Calgary Courts Centre Wednesday for jury selection in the high-profile deaths of a five-year-old Calgary boy and his grandparents.

Douglas Garland, 56, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Nathan O’Brien and Alvin and Kathy Liknes.

The three vanished from the Liknes home in June 2014, spurring an Amber Alert that lasted for two weeks.

Watch below: The case involving Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes, returned to Calgary courts on Dec. 1, 2016. Global’s Nancy Hixt has the details.

Hearing for accused triple murderer Douglas Garland underway in Calgary court
Hearing for accused triple murderer Douglas Garland underway in Calgary court

Due to the high-profile nature of the case, jury selection is being conducted through what is referred to as “challenge for a cause.” The process involves prospective jurors being asked a set of questions designed to expose potential bias due to the publicity the case has received.

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In addition, two extra jurors will be chosen in order to protect against a mistrial in the event that any jurors drop out.

Garland appeared in court for the selection, wearing a blue prison jumpsuit and with his feet shackled.

Three days have been set aside to choose the jury.

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

Nathan was having a sleepover at his grandparents’ home following an estate sale at their house.

When his mother, Jennifer O’Brien, went to pick him up the next day, the trio had disappeared.

The case shocked people across Canada and around the world.

Following an investigation, police said a “violent incident” had taken place in the Liknes’ home.

Garland had several ties to Alvin and Kathy Liknes. Alvin’s son was married to Garland’s sister. Family members confirm Alvin and Garland had a falling out several years earlier over a business deal that ended badly.

Garland lived with his parents on an acreage northeast of Airdrie that was meticulously and repeatedly searched by police.

The jury trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 16 and continue for five weeks.

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Watch below:  A home where one of the most heinous crimes in Calgary’s history is alleged to have happened has now been demolished. Nancy Hixt reports in April 2016.

Liknes home demolished
Liknes home demolished

With a file from The Canadian Press