A Court of Queen’s Bench judge will determine during a preliminary inquiry in mid-November whether there is enough evidence against Faith Marie Nichol to hold a full-blown trial.
Nichol, 25, appeared by video in Moose Jaw Provincial Court on May 16 for what was supposed to be a bail hearing. However, defence lawyer Doug Anderson waived the hearing and asked that a preliminary inquiry with a judge and jury be scheduled for Nov. 14 to 16 at Court of Queen’s Bench in Moose Jaw.
Judge Daryl Rayner agreed to the request and recommended that Anderson submit by Sept. 1 a list of witnesses and issues that could be presented during the inquiry. He noted that a case management conference could be held beforehand to reach a possible early agreement.
The judge ordered Nichol to remain on remand — in jail — until the inquiry.
A preliminary inquiry allows the defence to see the Crown’s case and its strength. It serves as a comprehensive form of evidence disclosure and gives the defence an idea of what to expect at a real trial. A judge will not decide a person’s guilt or innocence during the preliminary inquiry, only whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to a real trial.
Nichol is charged with a firearms/weapons offence, failing to comply with an appearance notice, manslaughter with a firearm, and possessing a firearm while being prohibited from doing so, in connection with a man’s death on Stadacona Street West.
According to previous information, police and EMS responded to an incident on March 30 around 2:30 a.m. at an apartment in the 0 block of Stadacona Street West. They discovered a man’s body and pronounced him dead at the scene. Law enforcement’s initial investigation determined that the death was suspicious.
On April 1, the Moose Jaw Police Service announced that the death of the 25-year-old male was a homicide after he was found with a gunshot wound at the apartment building.
Besides Nichol, police also arrested Michael Tufano in connection with the incident.
Tufano was supposed to have a bail hearing on May 17, but his defence counsel pushed back the hearing to June 1 to potentially organize a better release plan.