Burns Lake resident Albert Giesbrecht, who was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Raymond George Bishop last May, could soon be released on bail.
Although the judge had indicated that a decision on his release would not be made until Dec. 11, the court decided today that Giesbrecht could be released on a “recognizance of bail,” which comes with the added imposition of a potential financial penalty if the accused does not attend court or follow the conditions of release.
However, he won’t be released from custody right away.
“This decision means that Mr. Giesbrecht will be released when [or if] his surety satisfies the financial obligations required by the recognizance and signs the bail document,” explained Alisia Adams, acting communications counsel with the B.C. Prosecution Service.
A surety is a person who agrees to be liable to pay a set amount of money if the accused fails to attend court or breaches a condition of the bail order.
The B.C. Prosecution Service was not able to provide details such as how much his surety will be required to pledge or who his surety might be.
Giesbrecht appeared in Smithers Supreme Court earlier this week for a judicial interim release hearing (bail hearing), which is where a judge decides whether to release the accused person from custody while they wait for their trial.
An accused person is entitled to a release or bail hearing once he or she has been arrested. However, since Giesbrecht has been arrested for a first-degree murder offence, the onus was on him to show cause why he should be released.
“Normally the onus is on the Crown to show why someone should be detained; but in this case, because of the nature of the offence and the provisions of the Criminal Code, the onus is essentially reversed,” explained Dan McLaughlin, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Attorney General, earlier this year.
The Burns Lake RCMP found Bishop deceased on the Southside on May 18, 2017 after receiving multiple calls from local residents at around 6:30 a.m. North District Major Crime and forensic experts were called to the community to assist the Burns Lake RCMP with this investigation.