EDMONTON -- Alberta Justice says it's appealing after a judge threw out a first-degree murder charge that took more than five years to get to trial.

Lance Regan was accused of stabbing to death fellow inmate Mason Tex Montgrand at Edmonton Institution in August 2011.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Stephen Hillier stayed the charge in early October.

He found Regan's constitutional right to be tried in a reasonable time had been violated.

Hillier cited a Supreme Court ruling over the summer, known as the Jordan decision, that spells out what constitutes an excessive delay.

Under the Jordan framework, the top court said an unreasonable delay should be found in cases that take 18 months in provincial court or 30 months in a superior court to get to trial from the time an accused is charged.