03/19/2015 02:50 EDT | Updated 05/19/2015 05:59 EDT

Case of Ontario man accused of killing two B.C. girls in 1970s goes to trial

VICTORIA - The case of an Ontario man charged with first-degree murder in the historic deaths of two young girls in B.C. will go directly to trial.

Proceedings for 67-year-old Garry Handlen will be moved to B.C. Supreme Court from provincial court, meaning his case will move forward without a preliminary inquiry.

Handlen is scheduled to make a brief court appearance in a Vancouver courtroom on Friday.

He was arrested in Surrey, B.C., late last year and is accused of killing 11-year-old Kathryn-Mary Herbert in 1975 and 12-year-old Monica Jack in 1978.

Herbert disappeared in Abbotsford, and Jack was last seen in Merritt.

Handlen appeared in provincial court by video link earlier this month, when the mothers of the two children wiped away tears as they left the courtroom.