October 31st, 2020

New charges may negate resolution of previous charges


By Shurtz, Delon on July 22, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge lawyer who hoped to resolve his client’s charges without a trial may have to come up with a Plan B.

Plan A involved resolution discussions with the Crown who, in March, had sent lawyer Wade Hlady a resolution proposal for his client, Travis Roy Priest. However, Monday in Lethbridge provincial court, Hlady explained Priest had recently been arrested on new charges, and resolution of the original charges may no longer be available to him.

The charges of shopbreaking to commit theft, shopbreaking to commit mischief, possession of stolen property under $5,000 and possession of ID documents stem from an incident April 28, 2019 when two men broke into an electrical substation in the 3500 block of 25 Street West by cutting the lock on a gate. Police reported they damaged the lock on the entry door, and once inside damaged a significant amount of equipment to get at the copper wire inside.

Spools of copper wire and various pieces of equipment, including a laser level, network connector and battery charge pack, were stolen, and a transformer worth $250,000 and a grounding cart unit worth $25,000 were damaged. Damages total $300,000, while the stolen copper and equipment are worth $6,500.

The following day police responded to a report of suspicious activity at a home in the 2700 block of 7 Avenue North after people were seen transferring copper wire from a vehicle into a garage. Police later searched the property and recovered stolen property, including some items from the substation.

Travis Priest, as well as his father, David Bradley Priest, pleaded not guilty to the shared charges on Nov. 22, but earlier this year their lawyers received a resolution proposal from the Crown, which could have avoided a trial. The Crown withdrew the charges against David on March 20 after court was told the accused had died.

Travis’ matters are scheduled to return to court Aug. 10.

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