CALGARY – The trial for the Stoney Nakoda youth accused of shooting German tourist Horst Stewin in the head last August has been adjourned until late August.
Provincial Judge George Gaschler made the decision last Thursday (July 18) to adjourn closing arguments until Aug. 28 after requesting transcripts from the witness testimony from the first two days, noting almost every piece of evidence is contradictory to each other.
The youth was charged last summer after Stewin was shot when driving on Highway 1A between Canmore and Calgary.
The accused, who was 16 years old at the time and cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was originally charged with 14 charges including attempted murder but the Crown determined a conviction would be unlikely with original charges and the 17-year-old is now facing charges of aggravated assault, assault and three counts of discharging a firearm with intent.
Two witnesses, who were in the vehicle with the accused, were called to testify on July 15 when the trial kicked off in the Calgary Court of Queen's Bench with conflicting testimony – one witness said her cousin told the youth to shoot, while the other witness admitted the group was intoxicated with alcohol and methamphetamine but said he did not tell anyone to shoot.
Stewin's family was scheduled to testify from Germany via closed-circuit television (CCTV) on July 17 but after issues with a translator arose and not being able to secure another one in time, the Judge opted to enter their roadside statements into evidence instead.
Stewin's wife described shooter as Caucasian male between 30 to 35 years old and the son said he did not see the shooter. The accused is Indigenous and a minor.
Stewin spent close to two weeks in the Foothills Medical Centre and was transported back to Germany for brain surgery, where eight bullet fragments were removed from his head.
Crown prosecutor Dane Rolfe said Stewin's prognosis for full recovery is "guarded, at best."