July 21st, 2024

Man accused of shooting at motorist pleads not guilty

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 28, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who has pleaded not guilty to four criminal offences, will enter pleas to 10 more charges and schedule trial dates when his matters return to Lethbridge court of justice later in the week.

Danial Mark Ferguson pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of resisting a peace officer, causing a disturbance by screaming, uttering threats to cause death and failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking, and the matters were adjourned to Wednesday to schedule dates for two trials. Ferguson is also expected to plead not guilty on Wednesday to charges of pointing a firearm, discharging a firearm with intent, mischief causing damage, possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose, dangerous driving, failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking, and assault. A trial will also be scheduled for those charges.

The latter charges relate incidents on May 26 when RCMP responded to a report of a shooting at a home in Coaldale. When police arrived the alleged shooter had already left, and was reportedly driving toward Lethbridge on Highway 3. Police said he also shot at a motorist.

The suspect was stopped at the intersection of Highway 3 and 43 Street in Lethbridge, and arrested by RCMP and Lethbridge police.

“A pistol was located in the vehicle and was determined to be a Winchester BB gun replica of a 1911 pistol,” officials said in a news release.

During a September court hearing, Ferguson was deemed fit to stand trial following a forensic assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary.

At court hearings earlier this year, Ferguson said he was crazy and needed to have a psychiatric evaluation. Section 672 of the Criminal Code allows the court to order an assessment of the mental condition of an accused, if there are reasonable grounds to believe it’s necessary to determine whether the accused is unfit to stand trial.

Ferguson had initially asked for the assessment on June 16, but the judge denied his request in absence of substantial evidence. The matter was adjourned, but a few days later another judge granted the assessment.

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