Alberta Mounties charged in shooting death of man in car to get jury trial

Click to play video: 'Two Alberta RCMP officers charged in shooting death near Whitecourt'
Two Alberta RCMP officers charged in shooting death near Whitecourt
(June 8, 2020) Following an ASIRT investigation, two Whitecourt RCMP officers have been charged in the shooting death of a 31-year-old man near the Alberta community almost two years ago. Tom Vernon has the details. – Jun 8, 2020

Two RCMP officers charged in the shooting death of a 31-year-old man in northern Alberta will be getting a jury trial.

Cpl. Randy Stenger and Const. Jessica Brown of the Whitecourt RCMP detachment were arrested in June and initially charged with criminal negligence causing death.

Earlier this month, the charges were changed to manslaughter.

Click to play video: 'Man dead after confrontation with RCMP near Whitecourt'
Man dead after confrontation with RCMP near Whitecourt

The pair appeared Tuesday in Whitecourt provincial court and, court documents say, there was an election for a jury trial.

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No trial date was set, and the next court date is Oct. 13.

Alberta’s police watchdog has said the officers found Clayton Crawford sleeping in a vehicle in July 2018 and he was shot multiple times during a confrontation.

Clayton Crawford was killed in an officer-involved shooting in July 2018. Credit: Trinity Funeral Home

Susan Hughson, executive director of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), has said prosecutors were consulted for their opinion and her team determined charges were warranted.

Hughson said it was the first time in the Alberta agency’s history that a police-involved shooting resulting in death led to criminal charges against officers.

Read more: Charges laid against RCMP officers after 2018 shooting near Whitecourt

ASIRT has said that the responsibility for the prosecution was transferred to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General at the request of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service.

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The manslaughter charges were laid on Sept. 3, after consultation with the Ontario Crown, ASIRT said.

Both officers were suspended with pay after charges were laid. Stenger, 43, has 12 years of service with the RCMP and 29-year old Brown has four.

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