October 28th, 2020

Fleeing from police case may end with resolution


By Shurtz, Delon on September 17, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The lawyer for a 26-year-old man accused of trying to flee from police in a stolen vehicle is working with the Crown prosecutor on a plan that may resolve the case without a trial.

During a brief hearing this week in Lethbridge provincial court, an agent for Calgary lawyer Robin McIntyre told Judge John Maher defence is working with the Crown on an agreed statement of facts. Agreed statement of facts typically present details of some of the alleged offences, to which the accused may admit guilt and plead guilty. There is often a certain amount of quid pro quo involved by both sides to reach an agreement.

During a court hearing in June, McIntyre said she received an offer from the Crown to resolve the matter, and the case was adjourned to give her time to discuss the offer with her client. She had previously told court if resolution discussions with the Crown failed, she would consider going to trial.

In the meantime, McIntyre hoped her client, who is remanded at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, would be released on bail pending the outcome of his case. Anthony Douglas Johnston was denied bail May 7 in provincial court, then again Aug. 25 during a bail review in Court of Queen’s Bench.

Johnston 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 noticed it March 20 in the Dairy Queen drive-thru on Mayor Magrath Drive South. Officers blocked the truck from driving away, but it rammed a police vehicle then drove into the side of an adjacent motel office building.

The driver continued to try to get away, but failed 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 vehicle previously stolen and recovered the day before.

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

Johnston’s case is scheduled to be back in court Tuesday.

Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter

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