October 21st, 2020

Man charged in fatal highway crash back in custody


By Shurtz, Delon on October 16, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man for whom police have been searching since he disappeared while on bail in June is back in jail after being arrested late last month.

On Thursday Wesley Brian Phillips had his first court hearing in Lethbridge since his arrest in September. His matter was simply adjourned for a month, however, to give his new lawyer time to receive and review disclosure from the Crown’s office.

Phillips, who is in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre, was wanted in connection with a fatal car collision last year. A warrant was issued June 12 when he failed to show up for court, even though he had, through his previous lawyer, been ordered to attend court after he was a no-show for a docket appearance the week before.

Phillips, 36, is charged with failure or refusal to comply with a breath demand resulting from a collision causing death, impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and failure to comply with a probation order.

The charges stem from a collision about 7:15 p.m. Nov. 25, 2019 when a white VW Jetta westbound on Highway 3 collided with a red Ford Escape that was stopped at a stop sign on 51 Avenue in the town of Coalhurst where it intersects with the highway.

The 66-year-old female driver, the lone occupant of the Ford, died in the collision. The driver of the VW was taken to Chinook Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Phillips was released from custody shortly after he was charged, then re-arrested in February on outstanding warrants from Airdrie where he faces charges of unlawfully being in a dwelling and numerous breaches. He was released again in March on $3,000 no-cash bail and ordered to keep the peace, reside at an approved residence, abstain from alcohol and drugs, not possess any weapons, and obey a nightly curfew.

The accused is also charged with mischief over $5,000, assault, failing to comply with previous release conditions, failing to comply with a probation order and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. Those charges stem from a disturbance at a city liquor store.

A warrant was issued for Phillips in June after the Crown lost track of the accused because he was not living at the residence at which he had previously been ordered to reside. One of Phillips’ bail conditions was to reside at the northside residence, but the owners, who had not been consulted beforehand, refused to let him stay and police were called to remove him.

Only a few hours later the accused was arrested following the disturbance at the liquor store, but the bail office released him without dealing with his previous bail condition concerning his living arrangements.

The accused’s next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 19.

Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter

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