By Tim Kalinowski on July 30, 2021.
A man charged with kidnapping and assault following a violent carjacking has been convicted in Lethbridge provincial court.
Judge Gregory Maxwell handed down a guilty verdict on Thursday on eight charges for Cory Ray Williams including kidnapping, assault with a weapon, flight from a police officer, dangerous operation of a vehicle, threats to cause death/bodily harm, robbery, housebreaking, and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.
Five other charges were dismissed by Maxwell, including another charge of attempted kidnapping, two charges of assault with a weapon, attempted robbery, and failing to comply with a probation order.
Most of the charges Williams was convicted of stem from his interactions with victim Wesley McNeil, whom he has been convicted of assaulting in a violent carjacking episode.
Williams was first accused of attacking his brother with a machete on Oct. 20, 2019 before leaving the premises. Several minutes later, and only a couple of blocks away, a man approached a parked car and held a machete to the driver’s throat.
During Williams’ trial, the court was told the suspect forced the driver, McNeil, to drive him toward the Blood Reserve, but part way there kicked him out of the vehicle and sped away. The carjacker later returned and began chasing another vehicle that had picked up McNeil while he walked along the highway.
RCMP chased the carjacker to Fort Macleod where they later found the abandoned vehicle.
Two days later police responded to a disturbance along 2 Avenue South in Lethbridge where a man was wielding a sword. While police responded to the call, they received information of an attempted carjacking in the area. A second victim in that case was able to fight off his attacker who fled on a bicycle.
Williams was later found, arrested and charged.
Although Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette, who defended Williams in the trial, did not dispute the facts of the case, he did dispute the suspect’s identity.
Neither victim was able to identify their assailant, although Williams’ DNA was discovered on a baseball cap that was found on the ground where McNeil was dropped off on the side of the road.
It was this evidence which ultimately led to Williams’ convictions on Thursday.
Williams will return to court on Aug. 13 after the court receives a pre-sentencing report and Gladue Report. At that time a date will be set for sentencing.
-With files from Delon Shurtz
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