June 16th, 2024

Accused in impaired driving fatality remains in custody


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 5, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A southern Alberta man charged in relation to a drunk driving death more than two years ago, and who has been sitting in remand at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre for 17 months, will remain in custody while his matters continue to make their way through court.
Wesley Brian Phillips, whose sister was willing to post $1,000 surety, had hoped to be released on bail, but following a hearing Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, Judge Kristen Ailsby ordered him detained.
Ailsby gave her decision after the Crown and defence presented their arguments during a lengthy bail hearing last month. Evidence provided during the hearing is subject to a publication ban and cannot be reported.
Phillips, who elected last March to be tried by a 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 following an accident causing death, 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.
A preliminary hearing for Phillips was scheduled to run last month, but it was canceled after the Crown filed a direct indictment, which will send Phillips directly to trial without first having a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is normally held to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.
The matter is now scheduled for arraignment Feb. 28 in Court of Queen’s Bench.

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