"The Power of One"

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  • One Voice:

    21st May 2013 – One Voice;

    There have been some unusual developments recently in the Brian Ludwig Manslaughter Case (BLMC). Our family has been impacted by an atrocious crime in the form of the brutal murder of our loved one; an impact that most of you reading this can only ever imagine and certainly don’t want to ever experience.

    This narrative is one of a “hands on” series intended to show what really happens in the judicial system of Alberta as opposed to propaganda endorsed by the civil servants who work within it.

    This case, as in all criminal cases in Canada, is strictly between the Crown (a.k.a the Queen) and the accused. The victim and/or survivors, regardless of the severity of the criminal action, will never have access to disclosure. The Crown considers it “none of your business.” Period.

    Therefore, if the victim and/or survivors want to know what is happening during the judicial process, they need to attend all court appearances, even as trivial as you are told some of them are. And none of them are trivial. Something ALWAYS happens at every court appearance.

    Finally, by Friday the 3rd May, I had enough of the lack of correct information forthcoming from the Prosecutors Assistant Unit (PAU) and I called the Justice Minister/Solicitor General (Jonathan Denis QC) in Edmonton and lodged a complaint. On Monday morning the 6th of May, all hell broke loose. For 8 months, I had been compiling a list of about 30 questions in regards to the judicial process during criminal cases. That morning, I spoke to two individuals who refused to answer my questions, deflecting them back to the crown; one of them said I couldn’t speak with Michael Ewanson, as he was in court today.

    They both asked: “Why are you asking such questions?”

    “Because someone murdered my son, that’s why I am asking questions.”

    Around 11:00, I received a call from Mr. Ewanson, the head Crown Prosecutor for the BLMC and found out:

    1. Yes, we could have attended most of the previous 11 court sessions;

    2. Yes, we could attend the upcoming one on Thursday, 9th May;

    3. I was misinformed by his staff about the 90 day “no bail” application.

    4. I was generally misinformed by his staff over the past 8 months.

    5. No, he was not in court today.

    My list of questions is now in his hands and as of to date, remain unanswered by the Crown.

    As of this writing, most of the court proceedings in the BLMC have been handled by junior Crown Prosecutor, Colin Schulhauser (Mr. Schulhauser) who specializes in DUI’s,

    Two more court dates have transpired – the 11th (April 25) and 12th (May 9). Just to refresh …the accused in the BLMC was re-arrested on the 21st March 2013 while driving under the influence, bringing 3 new charges against him; DUI; driving over .08; breaking of bail conditions in the manslaughter charge.

    His bail amount of $3000 for the manslaughter charge was forfeited to the court.

    On the 25th April, Ian Savage applied to the Provincial Court for new bail. The judge, along with the crown prosecutor, refused him bail, choosing to retain him at the Calgary Remand Center. Ian Savage appealed this decision to a higher court, Court of the Queen’s Bench (QB); this time the judge granted him bail and released him back into the general public. The new bail amount - $3,000. It has been suggested that the accused cannot afford to pay his counsel and needs to be released on a low bail amount in order to work.

    Also at this court date, the judge issued a MANDATORY instruction, ordering the accused and his lawyer to make an Election along with a plea at 9:00 AM, the 9th May 2013 – throwing the case back down to Provincial Court.

    Neither the accused nor his lawyer, Ian Savage, appeared at this court appearance.

    My daughter, Heather, and I attended this session in courtroom 306.

    9:00 AM sharp, we sat behind Mr. Schulhauser, who was waiting for the accused or his attorney to arrive. Between 9 and 9:20, several cases went before the judge; cases such as domestic violence, DUI’s, traffic tickets, cases whose charges were dismissed, etc. Running out of cases to preside over, the judge left the court room, returning at 10 o’clock and continued to handle a similar variety of miscellaneous cases.

    9:20 Mr. Schulhauser was called to the podium by the judge to present his case but no representation for the accused was present and he advised the judge accordingly.

    Approximately 9:45 an individual appeared and informed Mr. Schulhauser that Ian Savage was not coming. Almost immediately, a text message came to this individual on his Iphone from Ian Savage. The text message said: “I can’t come to court today, just go ahead and set a date for the preliminary hearing anyway”.

    Mr. Schulhauser texted back: “You know I can’t do that. There needs to be representation present on behalf of the accused.”

    The reply: ”I will have an associate there in ½ hour.”

    Finally at 10:45 an associate from Ian Savage’s office appeared. Both lawyers approached the podium and the judge asked of his staff: “Does the court approve agents in a case like this?” After checking their computers, his staff found the court approves agents.

    A very unusual transaction then occurred. Ian Savage’s associate never made the Election; the judge did it for him. The judge decided on trial by judge and jury and the plea automatically defaulted to “not guilty”.

    This is called a “DEFAULT ELECTION” which rarely happens in the judicial system in Alberta.

    A new court date was appointed – 30th May – 9:00 AM – same courtroom for the DUI and 2:00 PM for the manslaughter charge – room 507.

    My argument is; it is in the crown’s best interest to keep individual victims of violent crimes un-assembled and un-knowledgeable. An individual alone has very little voice; a coalition of educated, knowledgeable victims with no vested interest in maintaining the status quo of their tenure and pension plans could have a powerful voice.

    Victims of violent crimes – we need a powerful voice.

    Author: Angela Ludwig

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