Accused killer held in Stettler hospital for threatening suicide before murder

Savage escaped from hospital hours before allegedly killing a Stettler man

A man charged with second-degree murder of a Stettler man was being held at the Stettler hospital for self-harm and threatening suicide before escaping and allegedly killing a man, federal prosecutor Gordon Hatch told the court May 10.

John Roland Savage, 51, made a second court appearance in Stettler provincial court via CCTV from Edmonton Remand Centre May 10. Savage is charged with second-degree murder and seven counts of failing to comply with release conditions, theft under $5,000 and possession of a controlled substance.

On April 6 before 2 a.m. Stettler RCMP received a report of a suicidal male with a machete. The individual was Savage. He had less than a gram of marijuana on him when arrested.

“Police put him under arrest under the mental health act,” said Hatch. “A machete was found concealed under his shirt.”

In April, Stettler RCMP confirmed that Savage was arrested in Stettler the morning of April 6 and taken to the Stettler hospital where he was placed under watch by hospital security. Savage, however, fled the hospital sometime that afternoon – hours before he allegedly killed James Hulkovich, 70. Hulkovich lived about half a block from the Stettler hospital.

On April 6 RCMP found Hulkovich deceased in his Stettler home and made a plea to the public to help locate a white 2008 Ford F-150 truck that belonged to the victim.

On April 7 at about 8 p.m., police located the truck on Hwy 13 near Wetaskiwin and took two adult males and females into custody. Savage was injured during the arrest and taken to an Edmonton hospital. Police released the other male and two females without charges. While in the hospital, RCMP Major Crimes Unit (MCU) charged Savage with second-degree murder on April 10.

An autopsy by the Calgary Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on April 10 determined Hulkovich’s death was a homicide.

Defence lawyer Jason Snider – who is a former seasoned Red Deer crown prosecutor – asked the court on May 10 for an adjournment on the second-degree murder charge to give him time to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

“It (preliminary inquiry) will likely be multiple days,” said Snider.

Savage pleaded guilty to failing to comply with release conditions and theft.

According to the crown, Savage was under conditions since Dec. 17, 2017, that required him to live where approved and to remain in his home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. On Feb. 24 Stettler police did a curfew check at 10:16 p.m. and Savage wasn’t at home.

Snider told the court that Savage admits he got home late that day after his curfew.

On April 1, 2018, Savage was charged with stealing from Walmart. Crown told the court that Savage self-scanned $66 worth of items at the checkout but left the store without paying. He was later identified through video surveillance.

Snider told the court that Savage had difficulty paying for the items and was under pressure to finish.

“He was on medication and made a bad decision,” said Snider. “Fines are appropriate for these offences. Savage was going through a rough time and ithappened when he was under prescription drugs. “

The judge fined Savage $100 for breaching conditions and $200 for theft.

Savage reappears in court June 14 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Just Posted

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Bonus RCMP officer for Breton region courtesy County of Wetaskiwin

Councilors examine details of enhanced RCMP officer for far-west side of county

County residents want to stop curve removal projects

Public meeting in Division 4 hears opposition to removal of gravel road speed curves

Soup and steak in Dora’s Kitchen this week

Get out your mallet for this Swiss Steak recipe

County council moves ahead on ‘speed curves’

Safety concerns, build standards basis for removing certain curves in county

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Canadian investigator says World Anti-Doping Agency got a bad deal from Russia

A Canadian lawyer says the World Anti-Doping Agency rushed into accepting a bad deal by reinstating the country’s drug-testing program.

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

Emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated

Jury to deliberate in case of Calgary man accused of murdering woman

Curtis Healy could be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter

Liberals want to know what Canadians think of legalized weed

The federal government will comb social media for Canadians’ pot-related behaviour

Most Read