Olds man accused of Airdrie murder appears in court
Dustin Piper, a 23-year-old Olds man charged with first-degree murder, made his first court appearance in Airdrie provincial court via closed-circuit television from the Calgary Remand Centre on March 21.
His case was adjourned until April 4 as Piper is currently in the process of obtaining legal aid.
Piper was arrested March 16 in Didsbury and is charged in connection to the death of Garland Curtis of Airdrie.
According to court documents, Curtis, 40, was murdered on Jan. 10 and was found in his home by police on Jan. 12 following a welfare check.
When he appeared on screen in the courtroom, Piper, wearing a blue jumpsuit and having short hair, seemed in good spirits and only offered replies of “Yes sir” or “No sir” when Judge P.M. McIlhargey asked him questions.
At least one member of Curtis’s family, a woman who identified herself as a cousin that from Red Deer, was present for the hearing, but declined to comment in regards to Curtis, aside from indicating most of the victim’s relatives reside in New Brunswick.
Police have confirmed that Piper and Curtis were friends and had known each other for a number of years.
The welfare check was carried out after one of Curtis’s co-workers in Fort McMurray called police and expressed concern for his colleague, who had not been at work for a number of days.
Curtis’s 1994 Saturn sedan was discovered abandoned at a business in Olds nine days after police found his body and investigators said the vehicle was driven here following the murder.
Piper had indicated on social media websites he had worked a number of jobs in Olds and one of his former co-workers said she saw him working in February at Sandy’s Restaurant and Bar in Olds.
The charge against Piper has not been proven in court.