ALBERTA

Joshua Cody Mitchell, Calgary Gas And Dash Suspect, Gets New Lawyer

09/04/2015 02:00 EDT | Updated 09/04/2016 05:59 EDT

CALGARY — The lawyer for a man charged with second-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a gas station worker says he's unsure whether he will be seeking to have his client released on bail.

Joshua Cody Mitchell, 20, appeared Friday on closed-circuit television in a Calgary courtroom where his case was adjourned until Sept. 18 to give his new lawyer time to review evidence.

Mitchell is also charged with possession of stolen property and one count of theft of $113 in gas.

Lawyer Kim Ross said he was retained by Mitchell about two weeks ago and won't be making any decisions, including whether his client should apply for bail, until he is able to look at the evidence.

"That's an issue that we haven't discussed as of yet until I get disclosure. It's just something that we'll think about down the road," Ross said outside court.

The Crown has already said it would oppose Mitchell's release. The prosecutor, Lloyd Robertson, has described the death of Maryam Rashidi as "an unspeakable tragedy."

Rashidi, 35, was hit by a stolen pickup truck June 7 while trying to stop the driver from leaving without paying. She was struck and carried along on the hood before she fell off and was run over. She died in hospital a few days later.

Rashidi and her husband, Ahmed Mourani Shallo, emigrated from Iran a year ago. Both got engineering jobs in Calgary, but when the Alberta economy started to decline, they were laid off.

Rashidi took a job at a Centex station and had only been working there for a couple of weeks.

Mitchell was out on bail at the time on charges that had been laid in January. They included dangerous driving, possession of stolen property and driving without a valid licence.

Ross said there's little he can say right now about how the case will proceed.

"Certainly my client has a right to request a preliminary inquiry if he wishes or ... waive that right and go directly to trial," the lawyer said.

"But until we see disclosure we can't really make those kind of decisions.''

Following Rashidi's death, the president of Centex Petroleum, Alnoor Bhura, called on the Alberta government to adopt legislation that requires drivers to pay before they can use gas pumps.

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