EDMONTON — A man on trial for first-degree murder in the deaths of two missing Alberta seniors has been taken back into custody and charged with breaching conditions of his bail.
A handcuffed Travis Vader was wearing an orange prison jumpsuit when he appeared in court Wednesday, where a hearing on the matter was scheduled for May 18.
Court was told he had been arrested Tuesday night after testing positive for methamphetamine during a random drug test conducted on May 5 and for allegedly contacting a witness in the case, Donald Bulmer.
Late to trial multiple times
A judge reviewed Vader's bail conditions last month after he was late to court for a fourth time in his criminal trial.
He told the court that on three occasions that his tardiness was related to problems with vehicles breaking down while on the fourth occasion he was late because he slept in.
Vader has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann, whose bodies were never found after they left for a camping trip in July of 2010.
RCMP search near an Alberta home where Travis Vader was apprehended in 2010. (Photo: John Ulan/CP)
The couple, who were both in their late 70s, were last seen putting gas in their motorhome outside Edmonton, on their way to B.C. Their motorhome was later found burned and their SUV hidden in trees near a rural property.
The Crown alleges Vader was a desperate drug user on the run from police, and living in a makeshift camp in the region, when he came across the McCanns and killed them.
In addition to saying police should have looked at other suspects, the defence has suggested there's not enough evidence to prove the couple is really dead.
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