Manitoba man to stand trial in death of neighbour

A Manitoba man who was the subject of an RCMP manhunt will stand trial in the death of his neighbour.

Eric Wildman, 34, from the RM of St. Clements, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 40-year-old Clifford Joseph.

On Friday, defence lawyer Martin Glazer said the Crown is proceeding to trial on the first-degree murder charge via direct indictment, which means there won’t be a preliminary hearing.

Glazer said he objected to the direct indictment, but was overruled.

“From here we will vigorously defend the case,” he said.

“Mr. Eric Wildman maintains his innocence. He denies committing the offence of murder, and we look forward to mounting vigorous defence at his trial before judge and jury.

Last June, Wildman was the subject of manhunt after Mounties learned Joseph was missing.

RCMP officers previously said they realized quickly the disappearance was suspicious.

Ontario Provincial Police arrested Wildman at a home in Prince Edward Country, just out of Belleville, Ont.

On July 18, police found human remains in Stead, Man., which were later identified as Joseph.

Police formally charged Wildman with first-degree murder in September at the Headlingley Correctional Centre, where he was already in custody on previous charges.

Wildman also faces weapons-related charges.

Glazer said the separate offences stemming from his arrest in Ontario will be dealt with at the conclusion of the Manitoba case.

None of the charges against Wildman have been proven in court.

– With files from CTV’s Katherine Dow.

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