January 24th, 2022

Hearing set for accused in drunk driving fatality


By Delon Shurtz on June 25, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 37-year-old man charged in connection with a drunk driving death a year and a half ago, is finally scheduled to have a preliminary hearing, but not until the new year.
During a brief hearing Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court, Calgary lawyer Kim Ross said the preliminary inquiry for his client, Wesley Brian Phillips, will be held Jan. 4-7 and Jan. 17-20, 2022. A preliminary hearing is normally held to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.
Phillips, who elected in March to be tried by judge and jury in Court of Queen’s Bench, faces charges of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, failure to provide a breath sample and breach of probation, stemming from a fatal car collision Nov. 25, 2019.
At about 7:15 p.m. 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, who was 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 also pleaded not guilty in March to charges of assault, mischief causing damage, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, breach of probation and failure to comply with release conditions, in connection with an incident at a liquor store March 20 of last year.
Police reported a man entered the store and asked to use the phone, but during the conversation he became upset, threw the phone, pushed over the store computer and knocked over displays of alcohol. Damage to the store was estimated between $5,000 and $10,000. A customer who heard the commotion and approached the subject was shoved several times, and the man was belligerent with the officers and threatened them during his arrest.

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