The trial of David Matthew Adrian, who is accused of defrauding an elderly Warman couple of more than $135,000 over an 18-month period in 2015 and 2016, has been adjourned until January 2, 2019.
The adjournment was granted in provincial court by Hon. Judge S. Metivier on Tuesday, December 4 in response to a request by the defendant’s lawyer, who recently had been appointed by Legal Aid.
Provincial crown prosecutor Darren Howarth argued against the adjournment, noting the trial has now been dragging on for two years as a result of a series of delays initiated by David Adrian. The unnecessary delays, he said, are unfair to the people Adrian allegedly defrauded.
“It has now been eight months since the last adjournment,” Howarth stated. “Mr. Adrian has had ample time to make arrangements for legal counsel. This is becoming essentially an abuse of the court process. We are seeing a continuation of the same trend we’ve seen throughout this whole trial process.”
Warman RCMP charged Adrian in the fall of 2016 with one count of Fraud Over $5,000 after a lengthy investigation triggered by a complaint from Bernard (Ben) and Tina Bueckert of Warman.
The trial was initially set to begin in December, 2016, but the first testimony from witnesses was not heard until April, 2018, when the crown presented its case.
At that hearing in April, Adrian chose to represent himself. After three days of testimony, however, Adrian suddenly changed his mind and requested an adjournment so that he could retain legal counsel through Legal Aid. Justice Metivier granted an adjournment until December 4 and 5. Two days were set aside for the trial to be concluded at that time.
In June, 2018, Legal Aid appointed a lawyer, Blaine Beaven, to represent Adrian.
In early November, 2018, Beaven withdrew from the case, citing ethical reasons. Legal Aid then appointed another lawyer in late November.
The recently-appointed defense lawyer stated he needed time to prepare his case. He also stated that his client, David Adrian, had suffered a concussion and a broken collarbone after falling down the stairs, and had received medical treatment at a hospital just a few days earlier. He said his client was “too confused” as a result of the apparent concussion to be interviewed.
Adrian himself appeared in court on December 4 with two black eyes and his right arm in a small sling. He had driven a vehicle to the courthouse despite his alleged concussion.
Tina Bueckert said after the brief court hearing on December 4 that while she was disappointed the trial would not be concluded tomorrow, she was relieved the adjournment would be relatively short.
“We had hoped it would be all over this week,” she said. “But we’re glad it’s a fairly short time until it resumes. We just want it to be over and see justice done.”