Piper ordered to undergo psychiatric assessment

Photo Caption: Dustin Piper, 23, was ordered to appear for a psychiatric assessment in Calgary on April 5. Facebook Dustin Piper, 23, was ordered to appear for a psychiatric assessment in Calgary on April 5.
BY PAUL EVEREST
April 9, 2013

A 23-year-old Olds man charged with first-degree murder in the death of an Airdrie man in January was scheduled to appear for a psychiatric assessment in Calgary on the morning of April 5.

Dustin Piper, who is accused of murdering 40-year-old Garland Curtis, made a brief appearance via closed-circuit television in an Airdrie courtroom on April 4 from the Calgary Remand Centre.

Lawyer Krysia Przepiorka made the request for the assessment on behalf of Piper’s council, Rebecca Snukal and Piper received direction from the judge to appear on April 5.

He was denied bail at his April 5 appearance and he will next appear in court in Calgary on May 6 for election and plea.

Crown prosecutor Cameron Jose told the court the Crown is still waiting for the RCMP’s major crimes unit to provide it with some outstanding information regarding Piper’s case.

After Piper’s appearance, Jose told the Olds Albertan the doctor carrying out the assessment on April 5 will determine if a more in-depth assessment is needed and then either the Crown, the defence or the court can apply for a further assessment to take place over the course of 30 days.

Although no details about how Curtis was killed or a possible motive for the murder have been released yet, Jose described the murder as “extremely serious” and said a senior Crown prosecutor will be assigned to the case.

Piper was arrested on March 16 in Didsbury and has been in custody since that date.

Curtis was murdered on Jan. 10, court documents state, and police discovered his body at his Airdrie home during a welfare check two days later.

Curtis’s 1994 Saturn sedan was discovered abandoned at a business in Olds nine days after police found his body and investigators said the vehicle was driven there following the murder.

A man who identified himself as Joe and told reporters at Piper’s first court appearance on March 21 that he had a relationship with Piper prior to his arrest has said Piper and Curtis had been romantically involved.

While a woman who said she was a cousin of Curtis appeared at Piper’s March 21 court appearance, no family members of either the victim or the accused were present on April 4.

The charge against Piper has not been proven in court.

peverest@olds.greatwest.ca

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