By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 1, 2024.
A Lethbridge man accused of robbing the same bank on two different days last year, is a step closer to having a preliminary hearing.
During a brief appearance Wednesday in Lethbridge court of justice, Lethbridge lawyer Cara Lebenzon told the judge a pretrial conference has been scheduled for Feb. 22 for the Crown and defence to discuss trial issues and schedule dates for the preliminary hearing. The case will then be moved into docket court the same day to confirm those dates.
A preliminary hearing is typically held to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.
Jamie Gerald Bagu, who previously elected to be tried in King’s Bench with a judge and jury, 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 is accused of robbing the CIBC in the 500 block of 13 Street North on March 17 of last 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 the robberies.
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.
The accused, who remains in custody at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, had been attempting to schedule a bail review in Court of King’s Bench, after he was denied bail last June in the lower court. He was scheduled to have a review on Nov. 27 in CKB, but it was cancelled when he fired Calgary lawyer Katherin Beyak a few days earlier and was unrepresented on the day he was to ask a judge to release him.