May 20th, 2024

No trial date for fossil theft case

By Lethbridge Herald on September 19, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

A trial date still hasn’t been set in the case of a stolen ammonite fossil, despite earlier assurances a date would be set Friday in Lethbridge provincial court.

During Friday’s hearing, court was told another adjournment was necessary because Crown and defence had been unable to arrange a pre-trial conference with a judge. The matter was adjourned to allow time for the conference, during which a trial date is expected to be set, then announced on the next court date Oct. 16.

The Crown and defence had hoped to resolve charges against Logan Heavy Shield, who pleaded not guilty in January to charges of theft over $5,000 and entering land without permission.

Lethbridge lawyer Vincent Guinan told court last month he decided to have his client stand trial despite receiving a resolution offer from the Crown. He also elected trial by a provincial court judge.

Crown prosecutor Darwyn Ross noted the trial, which was initially expected to take one day, may need time to hear a constitutional challenge by defence.

Heavy Shield’s charges stem from an incident on July 16, 2019 when a man was seen stealing an ammonite fossil from a mine south of Lethbridge. Mine employees saw the man put the $7,000 fossil in a bag and then run to a waiting vehicle. The suspects got away, but were eventually captured, despite the driver’s attempt to disguise his truck by painting it.

The driver pleaded guilty in February to several charges, including one count of theft over $5,000. He was handed a one-year conditional sentence and placed on house arrest for six months, followed by six months of curfew.

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