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Former fire captain James Schwalm makes court appearance in death of his wife


A former Brampton, Ont. fire captain charged with murder in the death of his wife appeared in court on Friday.

James Schwalm has been behind bars for 29 days, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife Ashley in late January inside their Collingwood, Ont. home.

Schwalm and his lawyer Joelle Klein appeared in court seeking disclosure from the Crown to determine what evidence police may have against him.

Investigators discovered the body of Ashley Schwalm early in the morning on Jan. 26 inside her burned SUV, which had crashed down an embankment off Arrowhead Road near Highway 26 in the Blue Mountains.

Court documents show Schwalm is also charged with committing an indignity to a body. Police allege Schwalm murdered his wife sometime between Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 at their Collingwood home, then interfered with and moved her body before burning it in the fiery crash.

The city of Brampton fired Schwalm following his arrest in early February.

Schwalm was initially charged with second-degree murder until that charge was upgraded two weeks later to first-degree murder.


A First-degree murder conviction comes with a life sentence and no chance of parole for at least 25 years.

The court now prohibits Schwalm from contacting loved ones, including his parents, children and the family of Ashley Schawlm, born Ashley Milnes.

The couple had been married for more than ten years.

The Brampton Professional Fire Fighters have organized a GoFundMe campaign to support the couple's children.

According to organizers, the campaign has raised more than $102,000 since it was launched with the blessing of the Schwalm and Milnes families.

The allegations against James Schwalm have not been tested in court. Both he and his lawyer will return to court later this month. Top Stories

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