By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 6, 2023.
A Lethbridge man who was denied bail in June on robbery charges, was hoping to have that decision overturned last week, but couldn’t because he fired his lawyer.
Jamie Gerald Bagu was scheduled to have a detention review Nov. 27 in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench, five months after his bail was denied in Lethbridge court of justice. However, he fired Calgary lawyer Katherin Beyak a few days earlier and was unrepresented on the day he was to ask a judge in the higher court to release him, and the detention review did not proceed.
Bagu is set to return to the lower court today to confirm whether he has retained a new lawyer, which will be his third since he was charged. He told court Nov. 24 that a Lethbridge lawyer had agreed to take his case, although he hadn’t yet retained her.
Bagu is accused of robbing the CIBC in the 500 block of 13 Street North on March 17, and then robbing the same bank on April. 11.
Police reported that in both cases a man entered the bank, pointed a firearm at employees and demanded money, then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured during either robbery.
A vehicle with distinctive features was identified after it was recorded by a video surveillance camera leaving the area of the second robbery at a high rate of speed. Police later found the vehicle and identified a suspect.
Bagu, who previously elected to be tried in King’s Bench with a judge and jury and preliminary hearing, is charged with two counts each of robbery with a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, pointing a firearm, use of a firearm while committing an offence, and disguised with intent, and one count each of assault with a weapon and unsafe storage of a firearm.
Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox noted during the Nov. 24 hearing, that he and Beyak were preparing to have a pretrial conference and schedule a preliminary inquiry, when Beyak informed court she had been dismissed by her client.
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