January 15th, 2021

More delays in fatal collision case


By Delon Shurtz on December 18, 2020.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The COVID pandemic is making it difficult for a lawyer to meet with a client, who is charged in connection with a fatal car collision last year.
The lawyer told a judge Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court, the pandemic has prevented him from visiting Wesley Brian Phillips at the Calgary Correctional Centre. That has made it difficult to review disclosure about the case with his client.
During a hearing Oct. 15 the accused’s lawyer was granted an adjournment to give him time to review disclosure. When the matter returned to court Nov. 19, defence requested more time to review disclosure and it was adjourned to Thursday’s hearing. The case has been adjourned again and returns to court early in the new year.
Phillips, 37, 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.
Betty Ment, 66, 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 disappeared again while on bail, but was re-arrested in September.
A warrant was issued for Phillips in June after authorities 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 he 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 a disturbance at a city liquor store, but the bail office released him without dealing with his previous bail condition concerning his living arrangements.
Phillips remains in custody.

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