July 14th, 2024

Accused bank robber to hire new lawyer

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 7, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who was unable to have a bail review last week because he fired his Calgary lawyer only a few days earlier, is expected to hire a Lethbridge lawyer before his next court appearance in a week.

Jamie Gerald Bagu appeared in Lethbridge court of justice Wednesday, where an agent for the accused said Bagu has been talking to the local lawyer, but they need more time to discuss a retainer.

Bagu is accused of robbing the CIBC in the 500 block of 13 Street North on March 17 of this year, and again on April. 11.

Police reported that in both incidents a man entered the bank and demanded money at gunpoint. The suspect then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured during either robbery.

A vehicle with distinctive features was recorded by a video surveillance camera leaving the area at a high rate of speed following the second robbery. 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.

Bagu was denied bail in June in Lethbridge court of justice, and was scheduled to have a detention review on Nov. 27 in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench. 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 was cancelled.

The firing of his second lawyer is also expected to delay scheduling of a pretrial conference, which the Crown and Beyak were discussing before she was dismissed. The scheduling of a preliminary hearing, should Bagu and his new lawyer decide to proceed with one, will also likely be delayed.

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