Red Deer Advocate file photo

Convicted killer sentenced on robbery charges

Red Deer man sentenced to 13 years for manslaughter pleads guilty to three unrelated robberies

A Red Deer man serving a prison sentence for manslaughter pleaded guilty to three unrelated robberies on Tuesday.

Mark Bitterman, 34, was sentenced to three more years in prison to be served at the same time as the 13-year sentence for manslaughter he was given last year.

Bitterman pleaded guilty to one c0unt of robbery and two counts of robbery with violence, stemming from three incidents that took place over eight days in 2013.

Crown prosecutor Ed Ring said the first robbery took place on the morning of June 5 at a northside Red Deer hotel. Bitterman, who was carrying brass knuckles, and another man approached their victim, pushed him into a room and held him at knifepoint.

Cash, credit and bank cards were stolen along with the man’s keys to his Ford F-150 pickup, which was stolen and never recovered.

On June 7, they robbed their next victim, who believed he was meeting an escort he found online.

When he arrived at an apartment near 59th Street and 54th Avenue, two men attacked him and bound him in duct tape. Cash, credit cards, a cellphone and the keys to a Chevrolet Silverado truck were taken.

When the man asked to be freed, Bitterman threatened to put a bullet in his head, said Ring.

Their victim was taken for a drive in his truck but managed to escape.

A similar ruse happened on June 12, when a man who thought he was meeting an escort was jumped by Bitterman and an accomplice. This time they had what appeared to be a handgun.

Credit cards and other contents from his wallet were stolen along with his truck. The victim was left stripped naked except for a T-shirt.

The stolen truck was found soon after in an alley.

Bitterman and two accomplices were arrested by RCMP the following day in Kamloops. An imitation handgun was found.

The three robberies happened only a few weeks after Bitterman strangled a Potter’s Hands resident Curtis Leroy Rangen, 43. Rangen’s body was discovered in a freezer in his apartment on May 3.

Bitterman was initially charged with first-degree murder but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He is serving his time at Grand Cache Correctional Institute.

The three-year sentence for the robberies was a joint submission by the Crown prosecutor and Bitterman’s lawyer, Kim Ross, of Calgary.

Ross said Bitterman’s problems stemmed from his drug use.

Bitterman told Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice P. R. Jeffrey that now he is sober he wants to make use of his prison time to deal with his addiction for when he is released.

“The thing that I’m worried about the most when I get out is drugs,” he said.

Bitterman was also handed a lifetime weapons prohibition and must provide a sample of his DNA to a national database.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

Judge allows Mr. Big evidence in murder trial

Two men accused of triple-murder admitted their involvement to undercover police

Red Deer agency supporting for LGBTQ2S+ youth

New report on LGBTQ2S+ youth from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Four people arrested after gas and dash

Four people were arrested after an alleged gas and dash in two… Continue reading

Arrests made at Red Deer Rebels game

Charges pending against two people

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month