June 19th, 2024

Trial dates cancelled for 2021 cannabis robbery

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 11, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A trial set to begin later this week for a man accused of robbing a Lethbridge cannabis store will not proceed as scheduled.

Hank Lee Tremblay, 39, was expected to begin his five-day trial Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court, but it was cancelled Monday after Tremblay’s lawyer said he hasn’t had enough time to review last-minute disclosure he received in December from the Crown’s office.

“I didn’t have much chance to look at any Charter issues,” Marcus Mueller told the judge.

The Crown didn’t oppose the trial adjournment, and admitted certain disclosure the Crown believed had earlier been provided to the defence, actually had not until Dec. 8.

“He did not have an adequate chance to review that or to give proper notice of any Charter application,” Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox said. The information, Fox pointed out, is in relation to a search warrant.

The matter has been adjourned until Jan. 31 to allow time to schedule a pre-trial conference and give defence time to consider whether it will raise a Charter issue. If the pre-trial conference is held before the end of the month, new trial dates may be scheduled at that time, as well.

Tremblay is charged with robbery, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public. The charges stem from an incident just before 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2021 when a man armed with a knife robbed Westcan Cannabis in the 1700-block of 23 Street North.

The suspect fled but was tracked by a police dog to a residence in the 1300 block of 23 Street North, where a man was arrested without incident.

The case has experienced several delays since the accused was arrested. Tremblay was scheduled for a one-day trial last August, but during a court hearing the previous April, the Crown pointed out one day would not be enough time to run the trial and it was cancelled.

The matter was adjourned to May 3, at which time court was told a pre-trial conference had been scheduled for May 19 so a trial date could be determined. When the case returned on May 24 to confirm the trial date, Calgary lawyer Spencer Sikora said he had lost contact with his client, and a warrant was issued for Tremblay’s arrest.

Sikora was permitted to withdraw as Tremblay’s lawyer in September after he told the judge there had been a breakdown in the solicitor-client relationship.

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