ALBERTA

Rod Lazenby Murder Case Delays Frustrate Suspect's Lawyer

03/07/2014 01:39 EST | Updated 05/07/2014 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - The lawyer for an Alberta man charged in the death of a peace officer says she is frustrated at delays in the case.

Trevor Kloschinsky is charged in the first-degree murder of Rod Lazenby on an acreage near Priddis, just south of Calgary, in August 2012.

A psychiatric assessment as to whether he is criminally responsible has taken months, but a report is now complete.

On Friday, defence lawyer Maggie O'Shaughnessy wanted to set a hearing date right away to determine whether her client is criminally responsible.

"The Crown of course are completely not prepared to go ahead, to move the file forward. Certainly there was no surprise in my defence," O'Shaughnessy said outside court.

"I've been quite specific about moving the file along rather rapidly and there can be no surprise in the report that has been generated."

She said it is unfair to drag along the case and told the judge her client is "quite unwell" and shouldn't have to wait while the Crown makes up its mind.

"It's always difficult when you have clients who are severely suffering from a mental illness and are in the criminal justice system," she told reporters.

"That's because it's not Charles Dickens's time and it is cruel to be housed at the Calgary Remand Centre, which my client was ... and suffering in those conditions. It seems to be a type of pre-judgment punishment that happens to the mentally ill."

The judge agreed to let Kloschinsky stay at the southern Alberta forensic facility instead of the remand centre until his next court appearance March 21.

Lazenby, a retired RCMP officer who was responsible for enforcing bylaws in the Municipal District of Foothills, died after going to Kloschinsky's property to investigate a dog complaint.

Lazenby was dropped off at a police station in Calgary later the same day in what police said was "medical distress'' and died in hospital.

An autopsy confirmed his death was a homicide.

Lazenby, who was 62, was an RCMP officer for 35 years, often working undercover in Vancouver. He had retired in 2006.

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