May 19th, 2024

Carjacker sentenced 12 1/2 years

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 14, 2021.


A 42-year-old man found guilty earlier this year of several violent criminal offences, including kidnapping and robbery, has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in a federal prison.
Cory Ray Williams was sentenced Monday in Lethbridge provincial court, after Judge Gregory Maxwell said Williams’ offences comprised some of the most “aggravating circumstances imaginable.”
Following his trial in May, Williams was found guilty of kidnapping, assault with a weapon, flight from a police officer, dangerous operation of a vehicle, threats to cause death/bodily harm, robbery, housebreaking to commit theft, and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.
The Crown recommended during a sentencing hearing last month that Williams should be imprisoned between 14 and 17 years for committing a violent string of offences more than two years ago. Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette, on the other hand, said an appropriate sentence would be between seven and 10 years.
“The range suggested by the Crown is excessive,” Ouellette said.
On Oct. 20, 2019 Williams approached a vehicle in a northside parking lot and held a machete to the driver’s throat. He then forced the driver, Wesley McNeil, to withdraw cash from his bank and drive him to the Blood Reserve.
During the drive, Williams kicked McNeil out of the car and sped away, almost hitting McNeil. Williams returned, however, and began chasing another vehicle that had picked up McNeil while he walked along the highway. McNeil had barely flagged the vehicle down when Williams returned and began chasing the vehicle, with McNeil standing on the vehicle’s step bar and precariously “clinging for his life.”
As Williams chased the vehicle through the Blood Reserve, RCMP intercepted him and began chasing him toward Fort Macleod where they eventually lost him. The vehicle was later found abandoned in the town, and police subsequently received a report of a residential break-in and theft of a minivan. The minivan was found 24 hours later abandoned in Lethbridge.
Maxwell said kidnapping is commonly acknowledged to be among the most serious offences, and he pointed out Williams not only threatened his victim with a machete, but struck him with it, as well. Maxwell added the flight from police was also particularly dangerous, the details of which are “some of the worst facts I have ever had to deal with.”
However, the judge also acknowledged Williams’ traumatic childhood, and noted the man was, while growing up, subjected to domestic violence and substance abuse, which contributed to his criminal lifestyle. His parents and grandparents also attended residential schools, the impacts of which are often felt by generations of family members.
Maxwell credited Williams for the equivalent of slightly more than four years he spent in pre-trial custody after he was arrested, and noted he was subject to racism by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous inmates while he was in custody waiting to deal with his offences. He was also assaulted while he was at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre and Edmonton Remand Centre. The pre-trial credit leaves Williams with just over eight years to serve on his sentence.
Williams must submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank, and he is prohibited from possessing weapons for the rest of his life. He will also be prohibited from driving for 10 years after he is released from prison.

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Citi Zen

There’s one out of the way. Next?