April 24th, 2024

Accused elects to head directly to trial in Coutts conspiracy case


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on April 12, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

One of four men charged with conspiracy to commit murder during the protest in Coutts earlier this year, is headed directly to trial.
Christopher Lysak, who remains in custody but appeared briefly in Lethbridge provincial court Monday, has chosen to be tried by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge and jury. An agent for the accused’s lawyer told court Lysak, 48, does not want a preliminary hearing, and the matter is scheduled for arraignment in Court of Queen’s Bench on April 25.
In addition to Lysak, who is also charged with uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and mischief to property over $5000, three other men are charged with conspiracy to murder. The matters for Anthony Olienick, 39, Jerry Mitchell Morin, 40, and Chris Carbert, 44, were also in court Monday. Lawyers for those accused said they are still waiting for more disclosure, and their cases were adjourned to April 25 in provincial court. Olienick, Morin and Carbert are also charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief to property.
Lysak was detained in custody following a bail hearing March 1 in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench. Carbert, Olienick and Morin were scheduled to have bail hearings later the same week, but they were cancelled. 
Nine other individuals are also facing charges stemming from the border protest. Ursula Allred, 22, Johnson Chichow Law, 39, Justin Martin, 22, Eastin Stewart Oler, 22, Joanne Person, 62, Janx Zaremba, 18, Luke Berk, 62, Jaclyne Martin, 39, and Evan Colenutt, 23.
Allred, Berk and Law each pleaded not guilty Monday and elected to be tried by a provincial court judge. The matters for all nine accused are set to return to court April 25.
RCMP arrested the 13 individuals Feb. 14 during the blockade of trucks and vehicles at the Coutts border, after becoming aware of a cache of firearms and ammunition. The protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions began late January and lasted until Feb. 15 when protesters began dispersing in response to the discovery of weapons.
Five national media outlets – CBC, Postmedia, CTV News, Global News and The Globe and Mail – were also represented in court Monday in their bid to get information relating to the search warrants that were issued for Carbert, Lysak, Olienick and Morin. The media outlets are applying to have the information used to obtain those warrants unsealed, and the matter is scheduled to return to court April 19, ostensibly to set a date for a judge to hear the news medias’ application.

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[…] Five major media agencies, the CBC, Postmedia, CTV News, Global News, and the Globe and Mail, have themselves gone to court seeking access to the search warrants of those facing the unusual charge of “conspiracy to commit murder.” None of these media has been inclined to express much skeptical curiosity when it comes to questioning government interpretations of the manufactured COVID crisis. See this. […]