John Roland Savage, 51, appeared in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench via CCTV from Red Deer Remand Centre Sept. 10 facing charges of aggravated assault stemming from 2016.
A trial is set for May 16-17, 2019, in Red Deer.On Dec. 20, 2018, at 9 a.m. Savage reappears in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench to confirm the May trial dates.
Savage pleaded not guilty and a preliminary hearing for Savage was held in Stettler in August 2018 on the aggravated assault charges to determine if there was enough evidence for Savage to stand trial. There is a court-ordered publication ban on the details from the preliminary hearing. On Aug. 14 after the preliminary hearing, Savage was ordered to stand trial.
Preliminary hearing set for separate second-degree murder charges
A preliminary hearing is set for January for Savage in Red Deer court on second-degree murder charges.
The second-degree murder charge stems from April 6, 2018. On that day, just before 2 a.m., Stettler RCMP received a report of a suicidal male with a machete. Police located Savage and discovered a machete concealed under his shirt. He was taken into custody under the mental health act and held at the Stettler hospital for self-harm and threatening suicide. He later escaped before allegedly killing a Stettler man.
Stettler RCMP confirmed 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, who lived about a block from the hospital.
On April 6 RCMP found Hulkovich deceased in his Stettler home and made a public plea to locate his stolen white 2008 Ford F-150 truck.
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 on April 10 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.
Savage was previously held in a protective custody unit at the Edmonton Remand Centre and is now at the Red Deer Remand Centre.