A witness refused to testify against John Roland Douglas Savage during a preliminary hearing in Red Deer provincial court.
A preliminary hearing for Savage, 52, held in Red Deer starting on Jan. 14 and expected to run until Jan. 18, ended abruptly on Tuesday, Jan. 15 after Crown witness and federal penitentiary inmate Ernest Bedore refused on the stand to testify.
Bedore was one of the three passengers with John Savage when Savage was arrested April 7, 2018, by Ponoka RCMP. After Bedore refused to testify the preliminary hearing was ended and the Crown and defence entered a joint submission to the court with Savage pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The preliminary hearing was being held in Red Deer provincial court to determine if there was enough evidence against Savage for him to stand trial on second-degree murder charges. Savage was arrested and charged with the April 6, 2018, murder of James Hulkovich in Stettler.
Savage still faces charges of aggravated assault stemming from 2016. A trial is set for May 16-17, 2019, in Red Deer. \