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)

Preliminary inquiry this summer for two accused of downtown Chilliwack murder

Trial should follow for alleged murder of Doug Presseau; no one charged for Stephen Drage killing

The trial of the man and woman accused of the murder of Doug Presseau downtown Chilliwack in July 2017 is getting closer.

Kirkland Joseph Russell and Victoria Sherri Purcell are now scheduled for focus hearing on May 7 followed by an eight-day preliminary inquiry trial starting July 31.

Russell and Purcell each face one count of second-degree murder for the alleged incident that occurred on July 7, 2017 while many people were in the area of the old Empress parking lot near Five Corners.

Also killed that night was Steven Drage, yet no one has been arrested or charged in his death.

During a court appearance in November, Crown suggested that more charges were to be considered against Russell, but what those charges might be was not disclosed. By late January no further charges had been approved so it is unknown if he is considered a suspect in the Drage killing.

The 34-year-old Russell remains in custody while 29-year-old Victoria Sherri Purcell has been out on bail since October, attending court appearances with supporters.

Purcell is represented by Gurpreet Gill, and Russell by Vancouver lawyer Terry La Liberté.

The preliminary hearing is set to run July 31, Aug. 1, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 15. 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.

Crown counsel prevents its evidence to a provincial court judge, and witnesses can be cross-examined by defence. The provincial court judge decides if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. If he or she decides there is not, the charges are dismissed.

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

If the case does go to BC Supreme Court for trial, the local Crown office will not prosecute the case, rather it will likely be in the hand of a Crown from the Surrey office.

• 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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