By Shurtz, Delon on April 7, 2020.
A 40-year-old Lethbridge man who pleaded not guilty earlier this year to several criminal offences in 2019 is set to stand trial this summer.
Cory Ray Williams is scheduled for trial July 20-24 on 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.
The trial date was set Monday during a brief hearing in Lethbridge provincial court, where the accused appeared by closed-circuit TV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.
Williams pleaded not guilty to the charges Feb. 6, following a bail hearing in which the judge refused to release him from custody.
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 then fled from 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 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.
Just after 6 p.m. the following day, police responded to a report of a disturbance in the 2900 block of 2 Avenue South where a man 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 incident, 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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