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Fas Gas shooting suspect enters guilty plea

Less than a year after Jaysen Arancon Reyes was airlifted to hospital, suffering gunshot wounds to his face and hands, one of the two men accused of the armed robbery of the West Park Fas Gas where Reyes was working has admitted guilt to charges in relation to the crime.

The other man accused in the robbery is now out on bail.

Reyes appeared in Red Deer provincial court on Monday, with the scars of the Sept. 11, 2013, incident visible. He is still recovering from the injuries he received during the robbery.

Jeffrey Lyle Geary, 31, of no fixed address pleaded guilty to four charges before Judge Darrel Riemer.

Geary was scheduled for his preliminary inquiry, used to test the strength of the Crown’s case before heading to trial. However, he entered guilty pleas to charges of robbery, possessing a loaded prohibited weapon, manufacturing a prohibited weapon and aggravated assault. He maintained his not guilty plea to the charge of attempted murder.

Reyes was shot in the hands and face with a sawed-off shotgun on the evening of Sept. 11 during an armed robbery. He had turned over the cash from his drawer when the shotgun was fired, severely injuring him.

Geary’s counsel, Patty McNaughton, asked for a pre-sentence report prior to the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Sept. 15 in Red Deer provincial court.

Geary turned himself in to Blackfalds RCMP two days after the shooting.

Co-accused Eric Michael Ayotte, 29, was released on $2,000 no cash bail. Ayotte was to face a preliminary inquiry on Monday. However, Crown prosecutor Ed Ring said one of his witnesses required a Tagalog interpreter and one hadn’t been requested.

Ring requested an adjournment of the inquiry so they could get an interpreter.

Ayotte’s counsel Mark Walters of Calgary then negotiated the judicial interim release for his client in exchange for allowing the adjournment.

He can now be released on a strict set of conditions, including having no contact with Geary and have no weapons or explosives.

A new date for Ayotte’s preliminary inquiry will be set on Aug. 18 in Red Deer provincial court.

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