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Man accused in Alberta Mountie shootings absent in court

Sawyer Clarke Robison, age 27, is pictured in this handout photo.

Handout

A man accused in the shooting of two Alberta RCMP officers was not present for his first court appearance Tuesday.

Sawyer Clarke Robison's defence counsel, Brian Beresh, did not appear either and sent another lawyer to the courthouse in Killam, Alta., on his behalf.

The case was put over to April 3 at which time it's expected Mr. Robison will apply for bail. The judge made it clear that both the accused and his lawyer will have to appear in person.

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Crown lawyer Rodney Clark told court that prosecutors need considerable time to go over the case material, which is extensive. Twenty police officers have been involved in the investigation, which is still going on.

Mr. Clark indicated there will almost certainly be more charges.

Mr. Robison faces two counts of attempted murder in the shooting of constables Sheldon Shah and Sid Gaudette on a farm near Killam on Feb. 7. They had come to the house he shared with his uncle, Brad Clarke, to execute a search warrant.

Mr. Clarke was found dead in the home.

Mr. Robison, 27, was on the run for almost three days before he was arrested peacefully on a rural road in the area. His truck, an unloaded gun and some ammunition were located later in a farmyard.

Police are still looking for a second weapon.

Court also had to reschedule some trials Tuesday that the wounded officers were to testify at. They are out of hospital, but Mr. Clark said they need time to recover and will be on leave until at least July.

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