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The Globe and Mail

Case against man accused of killing police officer put over until Thursday

The man accused of running down a Toronto police officer with a stolen snowplow appeared briefly in court via video link Tuesday for a two day remand.

Duty counsel asked that Richard Kachkar's case be put over until Thursday to allow him more time to get a lawyer.

Unlike his first appearance in person last week when he barely spoke, Mr. Kachkar, 44, identified himself this time in a clear and calm voice.

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Gone was the bandage on his nose, although small wounds were still visible. His arm remained in a sling and another bandage was visible on his upper right arm.

Mr. Kachkar, a drifter who moved between Toronto and St. Catharines, Ont., is charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 12 death of Sgt. Ryan Russell.

He also faces two attempted murder charges related to a taxi driver and another officer.

Police shot and wounded Mr. Kachkar when they arrested him after Sgt. Russell was hit by the plow.

The officer was struck when he tried to stop the vehicle that led police on an early-morning chase through city streets.

Sporting a neat, closely cropped beard, a seemingly relaxed Mr. Kachkar said, "Thank you, yes," when the judge told him he would appear again via video in two days time.

Duty counsel, Erin Metzler, would not comment on the private telephone conversation she had with Mr. Kachkar from a room adjoining the court while Ontario Court justice Milan Then waited.

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She would only say Thursday's appearance would be for the purposes of "retaining counsel" when Then queried her after the phone call.

Sgt. Russell's killing — the first Toronto officer to die in the line of duty since 2002 — sparked a huge outpouring of public support.

His funeral last week was among the largest ever seen in Canada for a fallen officer.

More than 12,000 uniformed officers marched though Toronto's streets to a memorial service.

The 35-year-old officer left a wife and two-year-old son.

Mr. Kachkar is being detained at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ont., a medium -to-maximum security prison.

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