10/08/2014 05:52 EDT | Updated 12/08/2014 05:59 EST

One-time suspect in disappearance of two seniors not guilty on unrelated charges

EDMONTON - A man once charged in the slaying of two Alberta seniors was found not guilty Wednesday on unrelated charges and was to be released from custody for the first time in more than four years.

Travis Vader plans to move in with his family and find work again in the province's oilpatch, defence lawyer Nathan Whitling told reporters outside court.

He said it's possible his client may face public scrutiny, but that the 42-year-old believes his life will go back to normal.

"Mr. Vader has directed me to say that he is not a threat to anyone," Whitling said.

"His intention is to get his old job back and to live a very quiet life and I expect this is the last you will all hear of Travis Vader."

RCMP publicly named Vader a person of interest and later their only suspect in the July 2010 deaths of Lyle McCann and his wife, Marie.

The couple, both in their 70s, were last seen alive more than four years ago when they fuelled up their motorhome in their hometown of St. Albert, north of Edmonton. Their burned-out motorhome was discovered a few days later but their bodies have never been found.

Vader was initially arrested on a long list of outstanding warrants. Two years later, he was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of the McCanns.

The charges he was initially held on, which included passing off a forged employment letter in court, were later dropped.

The murder charges were also stayed earlier this year.

On Wednesday, Justice Andrea Moen ruled in the latest case that although Vader may be an "unsavoury character," the Crown's witnesses were unreliable and the defence raised reasonable doubt on the charges.

She acquitted Vader on all nine offences, including drug trafficking, theft and weapons charges.

It was Vader's second trial on the charges. He was originally convicted in 2012, but before he was sentenced it was discovered that some evidence had not been properly disclosed to the defence. The judge in that case cited the RCMP as "negligent'' and ordered a new trial.

Vader did plead guilty Wednesday to a new charge of failing to comply with a court order in 2010. He was sentenced to one day of time already served.

Whitling said his client has spent too much time in custody on what amounts to minor charges involving stolen pickup trucks and possession of a broken, old revolver.

"Frankly, if there had been a finding of guilt, he would have been released quite soon anyway. I think it's unfortunate he had to spend so much time in pretrial detention only to be acquitted of everything at the end of the day."

Earlier this year, Vader filed lawsuits against prosecutors and the RCMP claiming malicious prosecution. He alleges he was kept in custody on trumped-up charges until he could be charged with murdering the McCanns, as well as that he was mistreated by staff in the Edmonton Remand Centre.