By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 6, 2024.
A Lethbridge man who has been waiting to set trial dates ever since he pleaded not guilty nearly six weeks ago to numerous criminal offences, will stand trial for two days beginning the end of next month.
During a brief hearing Friday in Lethbridge court of justice, an agent for the accused’s lawyer confirmed trial dates have been scheduled for Feb. 29 and March 1.
The accused, Danial Mark Ferguson, pleaded not guilty Nov. 27 to two charges each of pointing a firearm, discharging a firearm with intent, and mischief causing damage, as well as single charges of possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose, dangerous driving, failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking, and assault.
The charges relate to 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.
At court hearings earlier in 2023, Ferguson claimed 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 that he needed to be assessed. The matter was adjourned, but a few days later another judge granted the assessment request, and Ferguson was deemed fit to stand trial following the forensic assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary.