Lawyer seeks “resolution” for murder of Airdrie man

PAUL EVEREST
December 12, 2013

Lawyers are working on finding a possible “resolution” to a case involving a 24-year-old man charged with the first-degree murder of an Airdrie man before the matter goes to trial.

Dustin Piper of Olds, is accused of murdering Garland Curtis in his Mountain Circle home in January. He made a brief court appearance in Calgary on Nov. 29 where Crown lawyer Britta Kristensen requested the matter be put over until Dec. 13.

The reason for the delay is to see if the Crown and defence can resolve the case without a trial.

Kristensen’s request was granted but she would not say what a resolution to the matter might look like.

Piper has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and elected to have his case heard by a judge and jury.

He has remained in custody in the Calgary Remand Centre since he was arrested in Didsbury on March 16.

During his court appearance on Nov. 29, Piper was wearing a remand centre jumpsuit and was clean-shaven with short hair.

His case has been put over several times since his arrest as lawyers waited for disclosure from police and because the lawyer representing Piper went on leave.

Curtis, who was 40 at the time of his death, was found dead in his Airdrie home on Jan. 10 after a co-worker in Fort McMurray reported him missing.

Police have said Piper and Curtis knew each other for a number of years as friends.

A man who attended a court appearance for Piper earlier this year told reporters he was in a relationship with the accused at the time of his arrest and said Piper and Curtis had been romantically involved.

Curtis’s 1994 Saturn sedan was discovered abandoned at a business in Olds on Jan. 21 and police said the vehicle was driven there following the murder.

According to posts on his Facebook and LinkedIn pages at the time of his arrest, Piper attended Hugh Sutherland School in Carstairs and graduated from that school in 2007.

He worked at McDonald’s and Walmart in Olds, as well as Future Shop in Red Deer, Penhold Summer Training Centre in Springbrook, East Side Mario’s Restaurant in Calgary and a Carstairs construction company.

Piper’s LinkedIn page also states he won the silver Duke of Edinburgh award, which recognizes young people who develop a sense of responsibility to themselves and to their communities, and he served with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

In 2005, he took part in a CFB Cold Lake survival instructors course and his interests include gaming, movies, world culture, politics, history and human behaviour.

A local couple told the Olds Albertan in March that Piper had lived with them at their home in Olds from March to August 2012.

The first-degree murder charge against Piper has not been proven in court.

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