10/26/2011 06:21 EDT | Updated 12/26/2011 05:12 EST

Accused Serial Killer Could Get A Speedy Trial


A man accused of killing four females in B.C. will proceed directly to trial, skipping a preliminary hearing, a Crown spokesman says.

Cody Legebokoff, 21, is charged with the first-degree murder of three women and a teenage girl in northern B.C. in 2009 and 2010.

Neil Mackenzie, a spokesman for B.C.'s criminal justice branch, told CBC News that the criminal cases against Legebokoff will proceed by direct indictment, meaning they will go directly to trial.

Preliminary hearings are usually held to see if a judge agrees there is sufficient evidence against an accused to proceed to a trial.

The decision to proceed by direct indictment was approved by the attorney general's office, Mackenzie said.

Single indictment

Mackenzie also said the Crown has decided that all four murder charges will be tried together in a single indictment.

The changes mean Legebokoff will likely go on trial sooner than he would if there was a preliminary hearing and the cases were tried separately.

Mackenzie could not provide a possible timeline for the trial.

Legebokoff, of Fort St. James, B.C., is alleged to have killed sex-trade workers Cynthia Maas, 35, Natasha Montgomery, 23, and Jill Stuchenko, 35, and student Loren Leslie, 15. All four died in the Prince George, B.C., area.

Legebokoff was in custody, after being charged in 2010 with the murder of Leslie, when police announced the three other murder charges against him earlier this month, following a 10-month investigation.

He is scheduled to appear in court in Prince George on Monday.