Accused in Knouff Lake double-murder back in court
The man facing murder charges in relation to a 2009 double-murder in Knouff Lake will return to court next week.
Roy Frederick Fraser's preliminary inquiry is slated to begin on Monday, Jan. 9, in Kamloops provincial court.
The 54-year-old is facing one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in the deaths of Kenneth Yaretz and Damien Marks.
The bodies of Yaretz, 24, and Marks, 31, were discovered in May of 2009 in a shallow grave on a Knouff Lake property owned by Fraser.
Fraser turned himself in to police in Burnaby on October 25, 2010, less than 12 hours after Kamloops Mounties held a press conference announcing they'd obtained a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest in connection with the murders.
At the press conference, Mounties described the investigation as "painstaking," and said DNA played a large part in securing charges.
During the course of the investigation, Kamloops RCMP received help from a forensic botanist and a forensic knot-tying expert.
Yaretz and Marks, who were close friends and roommates, disappeared in mid-April of 2009 while apparently moving into a four-plex in Brocklehurst.
Yaretz had a criminal history including a conviction for trafficking in a controlled substance in 2007, for which he was sentenced to nine months in jail.
He is also allged to have been an associate of Jayme Russell, who Mounties at one time identified as the local leader of the Independent Soldiers street gang.
Russell is now serving a federal jail sentence.
During a court appearance last March, Fraser pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and elected trial by judge and jury in B.C. Supreme Court.
A preliminary inquiry is a hearing after which a provincial court judge decides whether there is enough evidence for a matter to proceed to trial.
Evidence presented at the hearing will be bound by a court-ordered publication ban.