July 16th, 2024

Man wants bail while waiting for trial

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 10, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who is charged with several weapon-related offences and won’t stand trial until the end of next month, hopes a judge will let him out on bail while he waits.

Danial Mark Ferguson was scheduled to have a detention review this week in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench, but when his lawyer was unable to attend, an agent asked Justice Glen Poelman to simply adjourn the matter for two weeks.

Ferguson was denied bail in August in Lethbridge court of justice, but he hopes a higher court judge will release him from remand custody at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, where he has been detained since his arrest in May.

Although already denied bail in the lower court, Section 525 of the Criminal Code allows a superior court judge to review the pretrial detention of an accused person after 90 days in custody for indictable offences, or 30 days for summary offences. All of Ferguson’s charges are indictable, which is more serious than summary offences.

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.

On May 26 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. However, a few days later another judge granted the assessment request, and Ferguson was subsequently deemed fit to stand trial following the forensic assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary.

Ferguson is scheduled for a detention review in Court of King’s Bench on Jan. 22, and his trial is set for Feb. 29-March 1 in Lethbridge court of justice.

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