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Emanuel Kahsai placed in separate courtroom as 1st-degree murder trial begins

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

Emanuel Kahsai’s presence at his first-degree murder trial was beamed in on a video screen on Monday.

Justice Glen Poelman told the jury arrangements were made to put Kahsai in a separate courtroom at the Calgary Courts Centre to ensure there would be no interruptions or distractions to interfere with their work.

“I only do that as a last resort when I consider it necessary to ensure a fair trial and to prevent you from being distracted or disrupted in your role, duties and responsibilities,” Justice Poelman told the jury upon giving them their instructions.

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

As Kahsai was arraigned on the charges, the video feed from another courtroom was enabled and the audio unmuted for the jury to be able to see and hear him.

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After a few grunting sounds, Kahsai was heard to ask if his feed was unmuted. He then launched into a loud outburst which prompted Justice Poelman to have the court clerk silence Kahsai’s feed once again.

Not guilty pleas were entered on Kahsai’s behalf.

READ MORE: Loved ones want justice on 2nd anniversary of Calgary double homicide

Kahsai’s mother, 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.

In 2016, Kahsai underwent psychiatric testing and was deemed fit to stand trial. He has chosen to represent himself in the proceedings.

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