June 22nd, 2024

Accused in Coalhurst intersection death to stand trial in 2023

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 1, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A southern Alberta man, who remains in custody after he was denied bail Feb. 4 in relation to a drunk driving death more than two years ago, will stand trial next year on several criminal charges.
The judge and jury trial is set to run for three weeks beginning Jan. 30, 2023 in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench. The dates were set Monday during a brief QB hearing, where the accused, Wesley Brian Phillips, appeared by CCTV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre. 
Phillips, who elected last March to be tried by a judge and jury, faces charges of impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and failure to provide a breath sample, 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 in January, but it was canceled after the Crown filed a direct indictment, which sends 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.
Phillips, who has been in remand custody for about 18 months, had a bail hearing in January, during which court was told his sister was willing to post $1,000 surety. However, Judge Kristen Ailsby refused to release him. Evidence provided during the hearing is subject to a publication ban and cannot be reported.

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