Hopley case moved to Supreme Court

Accused Sparwood child abductor elects trial by judge without jury

  • Mar. 9, 2012 8:00 p.m.

The man charged in the kidnapping of three-year-old Kienan Hebert in September appeared in court on March 5 for election.

Randall Hopley, wearing a prison-issued orange jumpsuit, appeared via video link from Kamloops Regional Correction Centre before Judge Grant Sheard. He was represented in Cranbrook Provincial Court by council William Thorne.

Hopley, 46, waived reading of the charges and elected the case be moved to Supreme Court for trial by judge without a jury. Thorne waived his client’s right to a preliminary inquiry, which means the case will proceed directly to Supreme Court.

The Crown agreed to see the case moved to Supreme Court, and a date was set for March 26 at 2 p.m. There, Hopley will deliver his plea via video link. He will remain in custody in Kamloops until the case goes to trial.

On September 7, 2011, Hopley allegedly kidnapped three-year-old Kienan from his family’s home in Sparwood.

Police issued an amber alert, saying that Kienan disappeared from his bed overnight wearing only Scooby Doo boxer shorts.

Scores of volunteers joined emergency personnel on a massive manhunt, but Kienan was mysteriously returned to the family home physically unharmed four days later after his parents gave a public, emotional plea.

On September 13, Hopley was found by police sniffer dogs at a gravel pit in Crowsnest Lake, Alberta, and taken into custody.

In December, Hopley opted out of a bail hearing, and instead will stay in custody until his case goes to trial.

A psychiatric assessment of Hopley has been performed but it is protected by a publication ban.

 

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