08/13/2012 02:59 EDT

Trevor Kloschinsky, Accused Killer Of Alberta Officer Rod Lazenby, Makes Court Appearance


A suspect in the death of a retired Mountie working as an Alberta peace officer appeared briefly Monday in a Calgary court via closed-circuit television.

Trevor Kloschinsky's case was adjourned for a day to a courtroom in Okotoks, Alta., just south of the city.

Kloschinsky, 46, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Rod Lazenby. Police say he was known to them but did not have a criminal record.

Lazenby died in hospital Friday from injuries he received while responding to a dog-related call at Kloschinsky's home in Priddis, Alta., in the rolling ranching country along what is known as the Cowboy Trail southwest of Calgary.

Lazenby was an RCMP officer for 35 years. He had retired in 2006 and had since started working for the Municipal District of Foothills enforcing bylaws.

Little is known about what happened, but RCMP say no shots were fired. Peace officers with the Foothills district do not carry guns, but are armed with pepper spray and a baton.

An autopsy was planned for Monday to determine what caused Lazenby's death.

News stories from 2002 said the veteran law enforcement officer was part of an elaborate sting operation in Ottawa in which officers posed as Italian mobsters to try to get a suspect to confess to murder.

In news reports covering the trial, Lazenby described in court how he portrayed Rod Calabria, the ruthless head of an organized crime group, by faking an Italian accent and pretending to lead a lavish lifestyle.

The RCMP has expressed its condolences to Lazenby's family, saying his death would affect law enforcement throughout the province.

Neighbours said the property to which Lazenby had been dispatched was at the heart of community tensions in the past. Problems with dogs on the site had been ongoing for a couple of years.