By DELON SHURTZ on March 5, 2021.
A former Fort Vermillion man who fired two lawyers and made dozens of court appearances on numerous criminal offences, has finally pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this year.
Jessie Hugh Flett pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court to charges of fleeing from police, driving while prohibited, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, unauthorized possession of a firearm, careless use and storage of a firearm, possession of a firearm obtained by the commission of an offence, drug possession, and two counts of failure to comply with a release order.
Flett, who appeared in court by closed-circuit TV from the Edmonton Remand Centre, was with his partner at a residence on the Piikani Nation in January 2020 when police were investigating the theft of a pickup truck from Pincher Creek. On Jan. 6 police found the vehicle on the property on which Flett was residing, and seized from the residence several firearms. One of the firearms had been stolen from Rocky Mountain House in September 2019, and another had been stolen from Spruce Grove in December 2019.
Flett was under previous release orders at the time that he not be on the Piikani Reserve, and not possess any firearms.Â The guns, court was told, were not loaded, not secured with trigger locks, and not properly stored.
Police also seizedÂ eight grams of methamphetamine from inside the house, and found on theÂ property two large hay bails, worth about $100 each, which had also been stolen.
The charges of fleeing from police and driving while prohibited stem from an incident June 13, 2019 when police saw Flett, who did not have a valid drivers licence, driving away from a residence in Brocket. Police activated their emergency lights but Flett took off, reaching speeds of 120-140 km/h before police ended the pursuit.
Although Flett pleaded to the charges, he was not sentenced. The Crown and defence are expected to present the judge with an agreed statement of facts when the matter returns to court in May. The adjournment will allow time for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and Gladue report, which will provide the court with information about Flett’s personal circumstances and aboriginal background to help determine a fit sentence.
The Crown is also expected to withdraw numerous additional charges when Flett is sentenced.
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