Texas murder suspect arrested in Halifax set for detention review hearing

Click to play video: 'Halifax police captures Texas murder suspect'
Halifax police captures Texas murder suspect
WATCH: Derek Cameron Whisenand, 28, is now in the custody of the Canadian Border Services Agency after being captured in shoplifting incident. Elizabeth McSheffrey has more – Dec 31, 2019

A 28-year-old man arrested in Halifax earlier this week and accused of murder charges in Texas is set for a detention review hearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Derek Cameron Whisenand was arrested Monday in the Bayers Lake Business Park after police received a report of shoplifting from a business on Chain Lake Drive.

He is now in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on an outstanding immigration warrant.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) will now decide whether or not the allegations that Whisenand committed a serious crime outside Canada are founded.

If the IRB determines that the allegation is well-founded, an order to remove Whisenand from Canada will be issued.

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On Monday, when officers responded to the report of shoplifting and tried to arrest the suspect, police say he ran away. The man was arrested about 30 minutes after the initial call came in, according to police.

After checking his identity, police say officers discovered RCMP had been looking for Whisenand.

RCMP say Whisenand illegally entered Canada near Haskett, Man., just north of Walhalla, N.D., earlier this year.

Mounties say Whisenand’s border crossing occurred sometime during the week of June 24, 2019, and officers believe he may have travelled to Winnipeg or eastern Canada.

According to police, Whisenand is a suspect in the murder of 78-year-old Burton Duane Sanborn in Eastland, Texas, which is about 200 kilometres southwest of Dallas.

The Eastland County Sheriff’s Office said Sanborn was found dead in his home, suffering from “severe trauma to the head.”

Click to play video: 'RCMP have released surveillance video of Texas man wanted for murder last seen in Winnipeg'
RCMP have released surveillance video of Texas man wanted for murder last seen in Winnipeg

Sanborn’s death was later deemed a homicide, and Whisenand was identified as a suspect.

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A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Whisenand’s arrest after it was discovered he had crossed the border.

Surveillance video of Whisenand released by police appeared to show him in Winkler, Man., on the morning of June 26 as he made his way through the province.

Later that morning, police said he made his way 40 kilometres north to the town of Carman.

RCMP say Whisenand was then able to get a ride to Winnipeg, where he was reportedly dropped off at Junior’s Restaurant on St. Mary’s Road. That was his last confirmed sighting, police say.

RCMP issued another public plea for information on Whisenand’s whereabouts in November, saying he may be armed and is considered dangerous.

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Although a time for Whisenand’s deportation hearing was not revealed, a spokesperson for the CBSA says that a detention review hearing is held within the first 48 hours.

If an individual’s detention is continued, they are then subject to a detention review hearing within the next seven days and every 30 days thereafter.

“The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that removal orders must be enforced as soon as possible, and the CBSA is firmly committed to doing so,” said Rebecca Purdy, the senior spokesperson for the CBSA.

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They say removal of Whisenand will proceed once he has exhausted all available legal avenues.

Whisenand remains in custody at this time.

— With files from Graeme Benjamin 

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