The Courts

In April of 2014, a Statement of Claim was filed by Travis Vader, alleging misconduct by RCMP, the maltreatment of Vader by correctional guards, and malicious prosecution by crown prosecutors. “In terms of what we’re asking for, we’re asking for over a million dollars in damages,” said Vader’s lawyer, Thomas Engel.

In December, 2015 and January, 2016, the Court heard a pretrial application alleging an abuse of process. Vader asserted a stay which the Crown entered on March 19, 2014 was designed to avoid the need to seek an adjournment of the trial otherwise set to commence on April 28, 2014. Justice Denny Thomas rejected the allegation, and Vader’s trial for Murder was scheduled to start in March, 2016.

Vader’s trial commenced the week starting March 5, 2016. Following are the trial testimony transcripts, and selected exhibits.

A photo book, organized by tab, is referenced frequently from the testimony.

  • Tab 1 Mom and Dad camping. Dad at Superstore gasbar. Mom and Dad at Superstore entrance and exit.
  • Tab 2 Motorhome at Ghost Lake and Arizona campgrounds. Afire at Minnow Lake. At the Edson dump. Pictures of singed Thousand Trail records.
  • Tab 3 Aerial pictures of Minnow Lake. Pictures of campsites.
  • Tab 4 Aerial and ground pictures of Samson land? Hyundai SUV. Carpet and other items.
  • Tab 5 SUV recovery. Interior shots. Exhibit lineups.
  • Tab 6 Canned food.
  • Tab 7 Boag’s cap, showing bullet hole.
  • Tab 8 Boxer beer can.
  • Tab 9 Carpet.
  • Tab 10 Grocery store box.
  • Tab 11 Cell phone recovery from dumpster.
  • Tab 12 ?place where Vader was captured.
  • Tab 13 ?Chip Lake.
  • Tab 14 Burnt truck, detailing where SUV key was discovered under fuel tank.
  • Tab 15 ?
  • Tab 16 Record from Peers beer store of boxer beer purchase.
  • Tab 17 Another truck burnt by Vader.

The trial concluded on June 23, 2016. Following are the closing arguments.

Justice Denny Thomas read a summary of the verdict on September 15, 2016 – guilty of 2nd degree murder.

Legal experts immediately challenged the use of an unconstitutional section of the Criminal Code. On October 31, Justice Thomas revised the verdict to Manslaughter.

Sentencing arguments were heard on January 3 & 4, 2017. Justice Thomas was kind to forward the audio transcripts as we were in Australia. Note that these recordings are very long in duration, with seemingly interminable stretches of nothing important – much like the real courtroom experience.

Vader received his sentence on January 25, 2017. Justice Thomas provided a video link for us to the courtroom from a facility in Melbourne, Australia.

The Alberta Court of Appeal considered Vader’s appeal on November 30, 2018. Following are the factums from Vader and the Crown. A decision is anticipated by the second quarter of 2019.

Following are other legal judgments related to Vader from the CanLII respository:

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