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New trial ordered for man whose Alberta murder case was thrown out over delays

Lance Regan leaves the Court of Queen's Bench in 2011.
Lance Regan leaves the Court of Queen's Bench in 2011. paNOW/Ryan Pilon

An accused killer whose case was thrown out because of unreasonable delays will now have to face a new trial.

Lance Matthew Regan was charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 21-year-old Mason Tex Montgrad at Edmonton Institution in August 2011.

Several delays and adjournments followed and a trial was finally set for October 2016.

But in a surprise ruling, the charge was stayed shortly before it was to go to trial because of new legislation that sets out a new framework for determining whether a criminal trial has been unreasonably delayed.

In response to the R. vs. Jordan decision, one defence lawyer said a shortage of judges and legal aid funding is “choking” Alberta’s court system.

READ MORE: Alberta murder case thrown out over trial delays; experts warn system on verge of collapse

Watch below: On Oct. 11, 2016, Nancy Hixt filed this report about a landmark ruling in Alberta that experts say has the potential to impact thousands of criminal cases. Charges of first-degree murder were thrown out for an Alberta man after delays in the case going to trial.

Alberta murder case thrown out over trial delays; experts warn system on verge of collapse
Alberta murder case thrown out over trial delays; experts warn system on verge of collapse

But in the decision released Thursday, the Alberta Court of Appeal said “neither the Crown nor the defence appear to have been motivated to bring the matter to a speedy conclusion” and ordered the new trial.

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The panel also requested Regan make his first court appearance to get the process started again by the end of March.