Suspect reprimanded by judge for being late on first day of murder trial

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The defendant in a deadly shooting at a downtown pension began on the first day of his trial by being reprimanded for his delay and threatened with the revocation of his bail.


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Judge Larry Ackerl told Edward Piche that he could be placed in pretrial detention after he was several minutes late Monday for the start of his trial with just one judge on a second-degree murder charge.

“It would be extreme, but it would be appropriate,” Ackerl said in court.

Peter Royal, Piche’s lawyer, said his client wanted to apologize for his delay.

Piche is charged in the deadly shooting of Blayne Burnstick, who was shot in the head on September 12, 2017 in the basement of 11119 94 Street in Edmonton.

Crown prosecutor Chantelle Washenfelder called several police detectives to the Queen’s Bench Court, who described the forensic and photographic evidence they gathered at the crime scene.

However, Washenfelder acknowledged that Piche’s DNA was not found in any of the displays or swabs taken from the 94 Street apartment.


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Sergeant. John Bourgeois, a member of the forensic unit, described the video and photographs he took inside the suite.

“The deceased was found inside a plastic bag. There were blankets inside the bag, with duct tape around the legs, ”he said. “(The apartment) was very run down. There were many things scattered on the ground. He looked very dirty. “

Sergeant. Bryce Gibbon, the Crown’s second witness, explained the details of his photographs taken at the apartment.

Burnstick’s hands and legs were taped together and blood stains were found on the dining room floor, in the plinth above the floor and on the stairs, Gibbon said.

Washenfelder noted that some details were drafted to honor the dignity of Burnstick’s body.


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Most of Monday’s proceedings focused on Crown witness submissions, and Royal offered few responses.

On September 12, Burnstick entered the suite along with two other men, who were planning to buy drugs from the occupant of the house Nexhmi “Nick” Nuhi.

Piche then entered the suite, “angry (and) yelling and ordering the men to leave,” Washenfelder said.

After Burnstick spoke, Piche shot him in the head, Washenfelder said.

The other two men fled. Nuhi was shot and killed the next day. He was 76 years old.

“It collapsed in the same area where Burnstick hit the ground,” Washenfelder said.

An initial police search on September 13 failed to find Burnstick’s body. Det. Paul Kelly was charged under the Police Act in connection with the search for failing to conduct a proper inspection of the crime scene.


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The body was discovered on a ladder on September 18 by a maintenance worker.

Saskatoon police arrested Piche on March 5, 2018 in a warrant issued by Edmonton police. He was transported back to Edmonton on March 8.

Jared William Bird, 31, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in February 2020 for his role in the Nuhi shooting. He was sentenced to five and a half years in prison. A co-defendant is still awaiting trial in that case.

Most of Monday’s proceedings were carried out through the presentation of evidence from the Crown and the defense will present its arguments at a later date.

Piche’s trial will resume on Tuesday. The trial is expected to last 12 days.

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