Albert Giesbrecht appears in court

Albert Giesbrecht, the Burns Lake resident charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Raymond George Bishop, appeared in the Burns Lake Provincial Court on May 23, 2017.

Giesbrecht’s next court appearance, this time in the Supreme Court, is set for June 19 in Smithers. This will be a judicial interim release hearing (bail hearing) – a court hearing where a judge decides whether to release the accused person from custody while they wait for their trial or some other result.

“An accused person is entitled to a release or ‘bail’ hearing once he’s been arrested, but because he’s been arrested for a first-degree murder offense, the onus is on him to show cause why he should be released,” explained Dan McLaughlin, a spokesperson with the Criminal Justice Branch.

“Normally the onus is on the Crown to show why someone should be detained; but in this case, because of the nature of the offense and the provisions of the Criminal Code, the onus is essentially reversed.”

McLaughlin said it’s not uncommon for defence counsels to ask for a judicial interim release hearing to be adjourned. This allows the defence counsel more time to make a case.

“Whether a judicial intern release hearing actually proceeds is really up to him [Giesbrecht] and his counsel,” added McLaughlin.

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.

Police wish to remind the public that anyone with information on this homicide to call the Burns Lake RCMP at 250-692-7171 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.