Charges faced by a father and son in the case of a Yellowknife taxi driver’s death have been reduced after a preliminary inquiry finished on Wednesday.
Crown prosecutor Jill Andrews told Cabin Radio the case is now proceeding to a judge and jury trial in NWT Supreme Court.
Elias Schiller, 19, is charged with manslaughter over the death of Ahmed Mahamud Ali in November last year. His father, 49-year-old James Schiller, is now charged with accessory to aggravated assault.
Originally, both had faced charges of second-degree murder.
“Since that time, the investigation has been ongoing. The evidence and theory of the Crown’s case that has developed supports charges of manslaughter and accessory to aggravated assault,” Andrews said.
Details from the preliminary inquiry cannot be shared as they are under a strict publication ban. The ban is both to protect the Crown’s case and to ensure the accused receive a fair trial.
Ali, a Yellowknife resident and City Cab driver, was found unconscious in his taxi cab outside Stanton Territorial Hospital in November 2018. He was brought to hospital and pronounced dead shortly after.
Known as “Uncle Ahmed” to friends and colleagues, his death prompted 90 taxi cab drivers to organize a procession through Yellowknife’s streets in December 2018.
His death also prompted drivers to push for greater security measures to keep them safe. Some cab drivers have cameras in their cars, and City Cab said the company was installing panic buttons.
Elias Schiller remains in custody awaiting trial, while James Schiller is out on bail under conditions.