By Shurtz, Delon on February 14, 2020.
Tyler James Lane may have been looking for ghosts when he and two friends broke into the Raymond Care Centre last year, but all he found was trouble with the law.
The break-in came back to haunt Lane Thursday when he was fined $1,000 after pleading guilty in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of forcible entry.
Lane and his friends broke into the uninhabited building April 6, 2019, because they thought it might be haunted and they wanted to find a ghost, Lethbridge lawyer Krista Calderwood explained. She said Lane acknowledges, however, that “it was a very dumb decision” to break into the building.
Crown prosecutor Brad Stephenson told court the RCMP received a report the following day that there had been a break-in at the former Alberta Health Services building. Although all three men had covered their faces, Lane was caught on a surveillance camera with his face unmasked. Police apprehended him several days later and he admitted he was one of the three suspects.
One of the other men was also recognized after he could be heard talking to Lane. Cody Claire Matthews pleaded guilty to the same charge last July and was also fined $1,000.
Court was told at the time the three men set off an alarm, but by the time the owner arrived they were gone, and so was a power drill.
The former care centre has been vandalized several times since AHS shuttered it. The large building, located on the east side of Raymond, was set to be demolished by AHS before a committee of concerned people fought to save it. The building, built in 1919, was an agricultural college, then bought by Alberta Health as a care facility and run by the Alberta Mental Health Board. It is now privately owned.
Judge John Maher accepted the joint submission that Lane be fined $1,000. He also placed the Claresholm-area farmer on probation for six months, during which he must behave himself, not have any contact with Matthews, and stay away from the former care centre. And even though Maher accepted the facts of the case presented to him, he questioned why the men wore masks if they were only hunting for ghosts.
Calderwood couldn’t answer him, but said her client wrote a letter of apology to the owner. She also suggested the culprits had been publicly shamed when their crime was shared of Facebook.
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