Kirk Joseph Russell and Victoria Sherri Purcell are charged with second-degree murder for the alleged July 7, 2017 killing of Douglas Presseau downtown Chilliwack. (RCMP/Facebook)

Accused in 2017 downtown Chilliwack murder set for preliminary inquiry in two weeks

Court appearance on July 17 to shorten length of hearing for Kirkland Russell and Victoria Purcell

Lawyers for the man and woman accused of the murder of Doug Presseau downtown Chilliwack one year ago were in court Tuesday morning to shorten the length of the preliminary inquiry for the case.

Kirkland Joseph Russell appeared via video from the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre where he has been for nearly a year since his arrest on July 22, 2017.

Victoria Sherri Purcell, who was also arrested that day with Russell, did not appear in court Tuesday, but her lawyer Gurpreet Gill was present.

Crown counsel, Gill and Russell’s lawyer Kasandra Cronin agreed that a scheduled eight-day preliminary inquiry set to begin on July 30 was more court time than needed. They all agreed to shorten that to six days set to start Aug. 1.

A preliminary hearing or inquiry is set when an accused chooses to have a trial in B.C. Supreme Court. The hearing is for the court to decide if there is enough evidence to achieve a conviction.

Russell and Purcell each face one count of second-degree murder for the alleged incident that occurred on July 7, 2017.

Also killed that busy night at or near the old Empress parking lot at Five Corners was Steven Drage, yet no one has been arrested or charged in his death.

During a court appearance in November 2017, Crown suggested that more charges were to be considered against Russell, but what those charges might be was not disclosed. As of yet no further charges had been approved.

The 34-year-old Russell remains in custody while 29-year-old Purcell has been out on bail since October.

Publication bans will prevent the content of the preliminary inquiry from being reported.

• READ MORE: Man accused in downtown Chilliwack murder facing more charges

• READ MORE: Chilliwack man charged with murder once labelled a high risk sex offender


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Two people were charged with the murder of Doug Presseau of Chilliwack on July 7, 2017. (Handout)

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