Driver charged with murder in connection to fatal Shuswap crash will go to preliminary hearing

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KAMLOOPS - A Shuswap man charged with second-degree murder in connection to a fatal motor vehicle collision last year will be heading to a preliminary inquiry.

Lawyers briefly met in Kamloops Provincial Court today, March 16, to discuss when they would be scheduling the hearing. A preliminary inquiry is held to determine whether the Crown has enough evidence to proceed to trial.

Defence lawyer Ken Walker agreed with Crown's suggestion of a five-day preliminary inquiry where six police officers will give evidence.

Lawyers will meet again on March 27 to fix a date for the preliminary inquiry.

Raymond Edward Swann, 56, the accused in the case, is not being held in custody. The crash happened on April 3, 2016, near Magna Bay and Swann was arrested and released the following day.

However, the second-degree murder charge Swann is facing in connection to the death of 60-year-old Brian Watson, wasn't laid until last month.

RCMP originally said Watson's motorcycle was struck from behind by a truck while both vehicles were travelling toward Chase on the Squilax Angelmont highway. Swann is accused of fleeing the scene after the crash and police say he later called officers from his home in Sorrento.

Lawyers met on Feb. 17, where Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan consented to Swann not being held behind bars. He has not been in custody since the day of his arrest.

Swann was originally charged with criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm, and leaving the scene of an accident. These charges are still outstanding.

Police haven't discussed why there was a delay in filing the second-degree murder charge, or what information formed the basis of it.

Swann's bail conditions include not occupying the driver's seat of a motor vehicle, not consuming drugs or alcohol and a curfew.


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