By Shurtz, Delon on February 8, 2020.
A 40-year-old Lethbridge man charged with a string of criminal offences last year tried, but failed, to get released on bail.
Provincial court Judge Kristin Ailsby refused to release Cory Ray Williams, Thursday, even though he could be placed under house arrest until his case concludes, and his mother could act as surety to ensure he would obey conditions of his release
After his bail was denied, Williams, who appeared in court by closed-circuit TV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, elected to be tried by a provincial court judge, and he pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, assault with a weapon, flight from police, dangerous driving, uttering threats, robbery, attempted kidnapping, housebreaking, and attempted robbery.
Williams returns to court Feb. 19, but in the meantime his lawyer hopes to arrange a conference with the Crown and judge to schedule a trial.
“Goodbye Mom, I love you,” Williams told his mother as he left the CCTV room at the jail. “I love you, too,” his mother responded.
Although reporting evidence presented during a bail hearing is prohibited by a publication ban, police reported that on Oct. 20 a 41-year-old man told police he and an acquaintance were arguing when the other man attacked him with a machete. The victim was not injured and the assailant left the home before police arrived.
At about 11:50 p.m. the same evening, a 55-year-old man in a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Mayor Magrath Drive North was carjacked and kidnapped, and forced to drive to several locations in the city with a machete to his throat. The suspect forced the victim to withdraw money from an ATM machine then demanded he be driven toward the Blood Reserve.
The victim was eventually let out of the vehicle and left on the side of the road where a passerby picked him up, and while he was calling police the suspect returned to the area in the stolen vehicle and began to pursue the Good Samaritan’s vehicle.
The RCMP and Blood Tribe police chased the suspect to Fort Macleod where the vehicle was eventually abandoned. A few hours later the RCMP in Fort Macleod responded to a break-in, during which a van was stolen. Police found the vehicle in Lethbridge the following day.
The following night, just after 6 p.m., police responded to a report of a disturbance in the 2900 block of 2 Avenue South. A man and woman were yelling at a man who was wielding multiple weapons. While police were en route, additional calls came in reporting a carjacking in the 200 block of 27 Street South by a man matching the description of the subject involved in the disturbance.
In that case, a 61-year-old man was sitting in a parked vehicle when another man got into the passenger seat, brandished a small sword, threatened the man and told him to drive. The victim was able to disarm the subject and a bystander approached the vehicle window and began yelling. The subject pulled out a second weapon, jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. The bystander chased him but the subject was able to find a bicycle and fled across the highway.
At about 7:30 a.m. Oct. 23, police responded to a report of a female screaming outside a residence in the 2300 block of 5 Avenue North. The woman told police she had accompanied a family member to the bus stop and, while walking back, a man grabbed her, threw her to the ground and demanded she turn over her cellphone. He ran away after the scuffle.
The description of the subject was the same as in the previous incidents, and later that morning he was located at a northside home and arrested without incident.
Police searched the suspect’s residence and recovered evidence of the offences, including the keys to the van that was stolen in Fort Macleod.
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