January 15th, 2021

Flight from police case may be headed to trial

By Shurtz, Delon on May 21, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald


A 25-year-old Lethbridge man who was denied bail earlier in the month, may set a trial date next month if resolution discussions with the Crown aren’t successful.

Anthony Douglas Johnston appeared in Lethbridge provincial court Wednesday where his lawyer, Robin McIntyre of Calgary, told the judge she needed time to discuss early case resolution with the Crown. If that fails she may consider setting the matter for trial.

Johnston is accused of trying to flee from police in a stolen vehicle in March and faces charges of possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, driving while uninsured, operating a motor vehicle while prohibited, flight from police, dangerous driving and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Police reported they were looking for a stolen Ford Explorer when they saw it March 20 in the Dairy Queen drive-thru on Mayor Magrath Drive South. As officers tried to trap the vehicle to prevent the driver from fleeing, he drove into a police vehicle then into the side of a Motel 6 office building.

The driver tried again to evade police but eventually gave up and was arrested. Two passengers in the vehicle were also taken into custody.

Police searched the vehicle and seized a can of bear spray, which is a prohibited weapon under the Criminal Code, and found a key to a Hyundai vehicle previously stolen and recovered the day before.

Damage to the motel and Explorer is estimated at $75,000 to $100,000.

Judge Gregory Maxwell refused to release Johnston on May 7, even though McIntyre said her client was prepared to post $500 of his own money for bail, and a friend was willing to post $1,000 surety.

Johnston’s next court hearing is scheduled for June 10.

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