Three years after the murder of Christine Denham in a Victor Street home, the man charged in the domestic homicide is one step closer to trial.
A pre-trial conference for was scheduled to begin in B.C. Supreme Court in Abbotsford on March 30 in the case against Shane Travis Hughes.
The next date now set for that hearing is May 20, according to Court Services Online.
A pre-trial conference is held prior to trials and are meant to streamline the trial itself, by having Crown and defence outline summaries of their cases and discuss any evidentiary or practical issues that might come up during the trial.
The details of pre-trial conferences cannot be reported as they are subject to publication bans.
The incident that led to the charge was on Feb. 26, 2019 at about 1 p.m. when police responded to a residence in the 9400-block of Victor Street. They found Denham with a gunshot wound. She died three days later.
#BREAKING Reports of a shooting at Victor near Bole in #Chilliwack. pic.twitter.com/zSJ0wKvPDk
— Jenna Hauck (@PhotoJennalism) February 26, 2019
Few details have yet emerged about the case, but it is a K-file, which indicates a domestic matter.
Hughes pleaded not guilty and chose trial by judge and jury at a court appearance on Dec. 17, 2020.
It’s unclear at this point if the ongoing delays in the case are the fault of Crown or defence, or a combination. According to the Supreme Court of Canada, as a result of the case of R v Jordan, the court put a timeline on the Charter section 11(b) right to be tried in a “reasonable time.” For provincial matters, the allowable time from charge to completion is 18 months. For Supreme court matters, it’s 30 months. COVID-19 mandates have led to many delays in court cases in B.C., particularly jury trials.
The Hughes case has been before the courts for 37 months.
Hughes is known to Surrey police. In 2005 he was convicted of trafficking in controlled substance and given a six-month conditional sentence . He was also charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm from a Sept. 2, 2018 incident in Surrey.
Denham’s name was included in a domestic violence project in October 2019 called the Silent Witness Exhibit. Her mother attended the ceremony at the Chilliwack RCMP detachment to honour those who have been killed by domestic violence incidents.
Hughes is not in custody.
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