By Vik Kirsch |

GUELPH — Accused of first-degree murder in the death of Seble ‘Mimi’ Dietrich, husband Stephan Dietrich of Guelph made a brief court appearance Tuesday, as her friends and members of her Ethiopian community circulated notices of her upcoming funeral.

The clean-shaven Dietrich, 43, in an orange shirt and jeans, stared straight ahead and didn’t acknowledge their presence as more than 40 Ethiopians from Guelph and Kitchener sat quietly in Guelph’s bail court and stood in an adjacent waiting room, holding up photographic prints of Seble on sheets of paper. Some of the print-outs bore the message: “We demand justice for our sister Seble (Mimi) Dietrich.”

Outside of court, Fikre Amban, an elder in the church Mimi Dietrich attended, said a trust fund was in the works for the couple’s three children.

Four of Mimi Dietrich’s family members sat in the front of the public gallery Tuesday, three having arrived from Ethiopia, Amban noted.

Toronto defence attorney Shayan Shaffie told Justice of the Peace Adriana Margoulas, he expected to be retained along with Greg Leslie and was awaiting full disclosure of the prosecution case, headed by Stephanie Turner of Guelph and Elizabeth Maguire, of London. Dietrich was seeking legal aid to do so.

Maguire said she wouldn’t provide full disclosure until defence lawyers were in place.

The case was adjourned to bail court Aug. 13.

Shaffie requested an interpreter be present for Dietrich, whose first language is German.

Maguire also requested an Ethiopian interpreter to assist the family.

As in past appearances, court officers opened double doors at the rear of bail court to allow members of the overflow crowd of spectators to view proceedings unhindered.

A celebration of Mimi Dietrich’s life is to begin with prayer services at noon July 17 in Westminster St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, 206 Victoria Road North in Guelph. A funeral service is to follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park, 762 Woolwich St. N.

The 39-year-old owner of the downtown Guelph Sidamo coffee shop, was last seen in July of last year. Her remains were unearthed last month at the family residence on Vancouver Drive, in an east-side residential neighborhood. About a week later, more than 200 people attended a candlelight vigil for her at the property.

In addition to murder, Dietrich is charged with obstruction of justice.

Seble was a prominent figure in the Ethiopian Meheret Evangelical Church in Kitchener and active in the region’s Ethiopian community, welcoming newcomers from the east African country and helping them settle in here.

Source: The Record

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