July 24th, 2024

Man facing multiple charges looking for new lawyer

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on June 29, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 54-year-old Lethbridge man who earlier this year was expected to resolve several criminal matters, is looking to hire a new lawyer; his third since he was charged two years ago.
During a hearing Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, Calgary lawyer Brad Kraus said the accused, Gerald David Thurber, no longer wants his help and will have to hire a new lawyer.
“I will contact Legal Aid and I will have new counsel appointed soon,” Thurber assured Judge Erin Olsen.
It’s the second time Kraus has been permitted to get off the record. He was previously allowed to withdraw as Thurber’s lawyer in April after the accused failed to attend court, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The following month Kraus was back in court representing Thurber again, and said at that time he still hoped to resolve all of his client’s charges.
Thurber was facing nearly 50 charges, primarily for possession of stolen property, but the charges were previously consolidated into four charges of possession of stolen property over $5,000, and one count each of possession of stolen property under $5,000, making or possessing identity documents, and drug possession.
The accused was expected to resolve those charges in March, as well, but with a different lawyer, and a trial was cancelled in anticipation the matters would be resolved. But during a hearing March 11 the Lethbridge lawyer was allowed to withdraw after court was told a conflict had developed and the lawyer could no longer represent the accused. Kraus was retained the first time shortly afterward.
Thurber was charged two years ago after police recovered stolen property they found in a Coaldale storage unit.
Coaldale RCMP, following up on information they received from a local business, searched the storage unit in June 2020 and discovered more than $100,000 worth of stolen property. Police reported the property was stolen from area break-ins or obtained by identity theft through fraudulent use of a credit card.
The stolen property included two cargo trailers,15 welders, a $9,000 wicker patio set, various power tools, air compressors, a snow blower, ladders, new light fixtures, generators and RV accessories. Most of the stolen property was returned to the owners.
Police said the offences were committed in several areas, including Bassano, Coaldale, Lethbridge County, Lethbridge and Taber.
The matter is scheduled to return to court July 11, by which time Thurber hopes to have retained a new lawyer.
Crown Prosecutor Adam Zelmer told court that because the case is getting old, steps need to be taken right away.
“These files, once new counsel is appointed, should either resolve almost immediately or be set for trial, given the history,” Zelmer said.

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