By Jeremy Appel on January 11, 2019.
Robert Hoefman, accused in the October 2017 murder of 64-year-old James Satre, has a new lawyer.
The accused made a brief appearance in provincial court Thursday via closed-circuit TV from the Medicine Hat Remand Centre.
During the appearance, Greg White withdrew as counsel and Marc Crarer took over the file.
Crarer asked for an adjournment to Feb. 4 because the case’s “disclosure is voluminous,” which was granted by Judge Eric Brooks.
Hoefman, 56, faces charges of extortion and first-degree murder, and was denied bail Nov. 30.
The accused has been in custody since Nov. 9, 2017, when he was arrested on the extortion charge, which police began investigating Oct. 10, 2017.
The identity of the extortion complainant is protected by a publication ban.
Satre’s body was found in an alleyway near his residence at the intersection of Mill Street and Smelter Avenue the day after the extortion investigation began.
In mid-October 2017, Medicine Hat Police Service Insp. Brent Secondiak announced a suspected connection between the extortion and homicide. Police believe the homicide “was used to strike fear into the victim of the extortion.”
MHPS has no information linking Hoefman with Satre, nor is there any established connection between Satre and the extortion victim, he added.
Secondiak called Satre an apparent “victim of circumstance and location.”
Shortly after his arrest, Hoefman was sent to the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre Calgary for a psychological assessment.
He was charged with first-degree murder Jan. 10, 2018.
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