February 24th, 2024

Guilty pleas struck after man rejects allegations


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 13, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A man who pleaded guilty to several criminal charges, but refused to accept the allegations, will remain in custody until next week, after he’s talked with his lawyer and has decided if he still wants to plead guilty.

John Andrew Krkosky pleaded guilty Friday in Lethbridge court of justice to charges of assault, mischief and failure to comply with release conditions in relation to a Lethbridge incident, and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public in relation to an incident in Pincher Creek. But after he rejected some of the details alleged by the Crown, the judge struck his guilty pleas and the matter was adjourned to next week to try again.

The Crown told court that at about 3:20 p.m. Sept. 1, 2023 police were notified of an incident at a fruit stand on Main Street in Pincher Creek. The business operator said Krkosky, who was holding a drug pipe, approached her and asked for a lighter.

“Mr. Krkosky then told (her) that he was going to rob the 7-Eleven store just down the street,” Crown Prosecutor Rachel Poelzer said.

The woman saw a large large in Krkosky’s waistband as he left and walked toward the convenience store.

Before the Crown could continue describing the incident, Krkosky interrupted and denied some of the allegations, which prompted a short break to allow the accused to discuss the matter with his lawyer.

When the case returned to the courtroom, Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady assured the judge that Krkosky wanted to maintain his guilty pleas and proceed with the sentencing hearing, but moments later he rejected the allegations again.

After Krkosky left the fruit stand he walked into the 7-Eleven and asked the clerk if he could borrow a lighter because he didn’t have any money to buy one. The clerk also noticed the knife in Krkosky’s waistband.

“Mr. Krkosky then pulled down his pants, revealing the knife, and this caused (the clerk) to panic and she gave him the lighter,” Poelzer said.

Krkosky left the store, but police found him shortly afterward in the alley behind the business and he was arrested. Police also seized a large hunting knife.

That’s as far as the Crown got before Krkosky interrupted again, but Justice Gregory Maxwell accepted his guilty plea for possessing the knife and the Crown continued reciting the allegations for the other three charges.

Poelzer said that at about 3:10 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2023 an employee of the Coast Hotel in the 500 block of Mayor Magrath Drive was alerted to a suspicious man inside a bathroom.

That’s as far as Poelzer got again after the judge noticed Krkosky – who attended court by CCTV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre – shaking his head.

“None of it’s true,” Krkosky said. “It’s all a joke.”

Rather than continue with the sentencing hearing, Krkosky’s guilty pleas were struck and he was remanded into custody to appear in court on Monday.

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