June 18th, 2024

Extortion case to be resolved without trial

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

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A former Lethbridge man who extorted money from a woman and was expected to either stand trial or resolve his matters without a trial, has chosen the latter.
During a brief hearing last week in Lethbridge provincial court, an agent for Oluwaseye Adekunle Morawo’s lawyer said Morawo has decided to resolve his charges of extortion and being unlawfully in a house to commit an indictable offence.
That announcement brings to an end months of uncertainty while Morawo was, at one point, expected to ask a judge to strike an earlier guilty plea. He is now scheduled for a sentencing hearing June 1, for which he will have to travel from Ontario where he is currently living.
Morawo pleaded guilty to the charges on Nov. 13, 2020, and admitted he entered a woman’s residence on Sept. 14, 2019, and forced her to return money he had paid her to rent a room in her apartment.
A month earlier Morawo arranged to rent a room in the woman’s residence and later e-transferred her a deposit of $500. On Aug. 31 he and a friend showed up at her house and Morawo said he no longer wanted to rent the room, and demanded she return the deposit. She didn’t immediately return it and later learned she was not obligated to, especially since she had taken the room off the market after she received the deposit.
She texted Morawo and said she would not return the deposit, and after he threatened to take her to court, he and his friend showed up at her residence and walked in without her permission. When the woman told them to leave or she would call the police, Morawo grabbed her cellphone.
The woman was forced to drive to her bank while the two men followed in another vehicle. While she waited for the cash from the drive-through teller, Morawo stood in front of her vehicle to prevent her from leaving. She gave him the money and he left the area, but police found him later and he was arrested and charged.
Following his guilty plea in 2020, Morawo changed his mind and considered asking a judge to withdraw his guilty plea and stand trial. The matter has been adjourned numerous times since then.

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