Manny’s Motel was heavily damaged in the Jan. 14, 2020 fire. (File photo)

Manny’s Motel was heavily damaged in the Jan. 14, 2020 fire. (File photo)

Trial continuation set for 3 charged in Wetaskiwin’s Manny’s Motel fire, homicide

All three facing second degree murder charge; 2 charged with arson

Content warning: The following story contains details of a homicide that may be disturbing to some readers.

The trial for three people charged in relation to the fire and homicide at Manny’s Motel in Wetaskiwin in 2020, will continue in October.

Levi William Favel, Riley Keith Maygard-Olynyk and Brittany Lynne Lucy Omeasoo are facing a second degree murder charge. Favel and Maygard-Olynyk will also be tried for arson.

Manny’s Motel was badly damaged in an allegedly intentionally set fire late on Jan. 14, 2020, and it was discovered later that 21-year-old Joseph Desjarlais had perished in the motel.

Located off 40 Avenue in Wetaskiwin, Manny’s Motel was used as a shelter and for low income housing. Other residents of the building were evacuated by RCMP and no injuries were reported.

Winter weather delayed examination of the building and Desjarlais’ remains weren’t located until over a week after the fire on Jan. 23. The gutted building was later demolished.

According to court documents, Desjarlais was found with a sock in his mouth and a wire around his neck. In statements made to police, the suspects said Desjarlais had been tied up and accelerants such as Axe body spray and cooking oil were used to set a fire close to him.

It’s currently unclear whether Desjarlais died before or after the fire was set. However, the Crown previously argued that all three accused were responsible for his death through allegedly contributing to his unlawful confinement.

READ MORE: Manny’s Motel demolition underway

A pre-trial conference for Favel, Maygard-Olynyk and Omeasoo was set for Aug. 21 at the Edmonton Court of King’s Bench.

The trial continuation is scheduled for Oct. 2, also in Edmonton.