The 31-year-old man facing a first-degree murder charge in the homicide of battle rapper Pat Stay appeared in court via video on Monday afternoon.
Adam Joseph Drake was charged on Sunday, and attended court virtually from his jail cell. The first hearing was put over until Oct. 27, as the defence awaits disclosure from the prosecution.
Patrick Wayne Stay died after a stabbing in downtown Halifax in the early hours of Sept. 4. After his death, tributes poured in from his family, friends and the music community, including from well-known artists like Eminem.
Police said in a Sept. 12 release that investigators arrested Drake in Tantallon on Saturday.
This is not the first time Drake had been charged in a homicide. He was previously charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2016 murder of 27-year-old Tyler Keizer in Halifax.
Keizer was shot on Nov. 21, 2016, while in a vehicle. He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.
Nova Scotia’s Public Prosecution Service confirmed to Global News that Drake was arraigned on that murder in 2019, but the charge was withdrawn in October 2021, just days before his trial was set to begin.
Keizer’s stepmother April Keizer and his sister Justine came to the courthouse Monday afternoon for the hearing.
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“We want to show support to (Stay’s) family. We also want answers in our own case,” April Keizer said.
“I’m hoping that new evidence, or people who were once afraid to come forward, will finally come forward. … Maybe we can get some of these other murders solved,” Keizer said. “We just want the Stay family to know that we support them 100 per cent, that we’re here if they need anything, and we’re so sorry for their loss.”
Senior Crown Attorney Rick Woodburn said outside of the courthouse on Monday that it’s an ongoing investigation, but that Drake’s history isn’t related to this charge.
“Mr. Drake’s background and these particular charges, one has nothing to do with the other,” Woodburn said.
“These are new charges. This is a new homicide. We’re going to focus on this — the investigation and the eventual prosecution of Mr. Drake in this matter.”
He also said he cannot share any details about the police evidence against Drake.
Halifax Regional Police spokesperson John MacLeod said police cannot comment on the details of the investigation as the matter is now before the courts.
“Our investigators are still looking into everything that happened that evening,” MacLeod said. “We would encourage anyone who has information to come forward.”
On Friday, Halifax police had asked for the public’s assistance in locating a cellphone that may have been found in the area of Prince and Lower Water streets after the homicide.
A cellphone has been turned over to police, MacLeod said Monday, but investigators are still determining if that is the right one.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about Stay’s murder can contact police at 902-490-5020, or submit an anonymous tip online at crimestoppers.ns.ca or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
— with files from Callum Smith and Rebecca Lau.