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Preliminary hearing begins for father and son accused of killing cab driver


A preliminary inquiry began today for a father and son charged with murder in the death of a longtime Yellowknife taxi driver.

James Schiller, 49, and Elias Schiller, 18, are both charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ahmed Mahamud Ali.

Brendan Burke/NNSL photo. James Schiller leaves the Yellowknife Courthouse following an appearance in February.

Ali, who worked on and off as a City Cab driver for more than 20 years, was pronounced dead in the early hours of Nov. 19 after being found unconscious in his cab outside of Stanton Territorial Hospital.

Both men were arrested and charged in the days the followed Ali’s death.

James Schiller was granted bail in March by a NWT Supreme Court Justice. Since his release, he’s been bound by court-ordered conditions while on bail.

Elias Schiller has remained in custody at North Slave Correctional Complex (NSCC) since his arrest late last year.

Today, the pair sat together for day-one of the preliminary inquiry in a Yellowknife courtroom.

A person charged with a serious offence can elect for a preliminary inquiry – a hearing used to determine the strength of the Crown’s case before being brought to trial. Ultimately, a judge will decide whether or not the pair are ordered to stand trial following the hearing.

Court-imposed bans prevent the publication of any evidence heard during a preliminary inquiry.