An armoured car guard accused of gunning down three of his crewmates during a robbery at the University of Alberta has been forbidden to have any contact with a long list of people, including his parents.
Travis Baumgartner, 21, made his first court appearance in Edmonton on Thursday and was remanded in custody. His next court date is scheduled for July 5.
Most of the people on the no-contact list are expected to be witnesses, said chief Crown prosecutor Steve Bilodeau, who handled Mr. Baumgartner’s brief court appearance personally.
“It’s actually a pretty routine order with important witnesses,” Mr. Bilodeau said outside court. “While he’s in remand, he can’t phone them or contact them in any way.”
The order also includes several of Mr. Baumgartner’s friends and co-workers, as well as any employee of G4S Canada, the security company that he was working for at the time of the robbery.
Police say Mr. Baumgartner, 21, was one of five armed guards who were loading a bank machine at the university’s HUB mall and residence just after midnight June 15 when shots rang out.
Eddie Rejano, 39, Michelle Shegelski, 26, and Brian Ilesic, 35, died.
Matthew Schuman, a fourth guard who was badly wounded, opened his eyes last weekend and squeezed his wife’s hand before he slipped back into unconsciousness. He remains in critical condition with what have been described as head injuries.
Mr. Baumgartner faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and robbery with a firearm, but didn’t enter a plea Thursday.
He wore the standard blue prison jumpsuit and was handcuffed. Security in the courtroom included four guards. The normal complement is two.
More than a dozen onlookers filed out of the courtroom after Mr. Baumgartner’s brief appearance, but no friends or family appear to have been there.
Mr. Bilodeau said the Crown’s office is aware of the attention the case has drawn and the impact it has made on the community.
“It’s not that other homicides aren’t important. It’s that this one here rocked the community. It rocked the whole nation,” Mr. Bilodeau said. “And this is one where I really want to make sure that the community knows we will take this as seriously as possible.”
The day of the shooting, Mr. Baumgartner was first named by police as a person of interest, but that was upgraded to a suspect just a few hours later when they issued warrants for his arrest.
Mr. Baumgartner was picked up as he tried to get into Washington state Saturday at a border crossing just north of Lynden, Wash., near Abbotsford, B.C.
Police say he was driving the same dark-blue pickup truck investigators had been looking for with an Alberta licence plate belonging to his mother on the back.
He had no passport, just a driver’s licence that police had flagged in their computers.
A backpack with $330,000 was found in the truck he was driving.
Mr. Rejano’s funeral is Friday and Mr. Ilesic’s is Saturday. The families have requested privacy.