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Judicial pre-trial begins for area man accused of killing wife

The judicial pre-trial related to the first-degree murder charge against James Schwalm was before a Barrie Superior Court on May 13
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The trial of a Collingwood man accused of killing his wife moved forward in the Superior Court in Barrie today with the start of the judicial pre-trial. 

James Schwalm, who is accused of killing his wife, Ashley Schwalm, already waived his right to a preliminary hearing, via his lawyer Joelle Klein, in a Collingwood courtroom last month, which pushed his case into the Superior Courts and toward a trial. 

James Schwalm is charged with first-degree murder and indignity to a dead body. The charges were laid last year after the body of Ashley Schwalm, 40, was discovered inside a Mitsubishi Outlander sport utility vehicle on Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:55 a.m. The vehicle had careened down an embankment on Arrowhead Road and caught fire after landing. 

On Feb. 3, OPP announced Schwalm's death was the subject of a homicide investigation and that her 38-year-old husband, James Schwalm, had been charged with second-degree murder and indignity to a dead body. On Feb. 17, police announced they had upgraded the charges to first-degree murder. 

James Schwalm was a captain with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, but has since been fired. 

The judicial pre-trial will continue on May 28 in Barrie.

None of the charges against James Schwalm have been proven in court.

Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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