June 22nd, 2024

Accused denied bail in Coutts conspiracy case


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 3, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge judge has denied bail for one of four men accused of conspiring to commit murder during the blockade at Coutts last month.
A bail hearing for Christopher Lysak was held Tuesday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s bench, but Justice Vaughan Hartigan reserved his decision until Wednesday, when he rejected a defence bail plan and refused to release Lysak from remand custody. A charge of conspiracy to commit murder is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Lysak, 48, is accused with other individuals of conspiring to kill police officers who were monitoring the truck blockade near Coutts in February. He is also charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, mischief, and uttering threats. While he is in custody, he is prohibited from contacting the other accused, unless through legal counsel.
Evidence presented during the bail hearing, as well as the judge’s reasons for his decision, are subject to a publication ban and can’t be reported.
Jerry Mitchell Morin, 40, Chris Carbert, 44, and Anthony Olienick, 39, are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, as well as possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief. Morin was scheduled for a bail hearing on Wednesday but it was cancelled without setting a new date. Carbert is scheduled for a bail hearing today, and Olienick is set for a hearing Friday, both in Court of Queen’s Bench. All four accused are scheduled to return to provincial court on March 15 to speak to their charges.
RCMP reported last month they arrested several individuals during the protest at the Coutts border, after becoming aware of a cache of firearms and ammunition. 
A blockade of trucks and vehicles had been at the crossing since Jan. 29, but protestors began dispersing Feb. 15 after weapons were discovered.
Police said they believe a small organized group within the protest was willing to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade. During the early-morning raid Feb. 14, police uncovered 13 long guns, as well as handguns, a machete, a large quantity of ammunition and body armour. Two additional weapons were seized later in the day.
Nine other accused, who were charged and released on bail shortly afterward, also return to court on March 15. Ursula Allred, 22, of Magrath; Johnson Chichow Law, 39, of Calgary; Evan Colenutt, 23, of Raymond; Justin Martin, 22, of Raymond; Eastin Stewart Oler, 22, of Raymond; Joanne Person, 62, of Coutts; Janx Zaremba, 18, of Raymond; Luke Berk, 62, of Red Deer; and Jaclyne Martin, 39, are charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief.
They are prohibited from contacting each other, and must not go within 200 metres of any protests or protest events. With the exception of Person, they are not to be any further south than Milk River, and they are not to possess any weapons. They must also live at specific addresses as part of their release conditions.

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