Court briefs – July 10

A man will be sentenced on Sept. 18 for the death of a former Red Deer resident found strangled in a High Level apartment 18 months ago.

Sentencing scheduled

A man will be sentenced on Sept. 18 for the death of a former Red Deer resident found strangled in a High Level apartment 18 months ago.

On July 3, Justice Adele Kent convicted Richard Allen Pfaff, 25, of High Level, of manslaughter in the killing of Michael Jean Berube, 25.

The sentencing will occur in an Edmonton courtroom.

Pfaff had gone to trial this spring on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Berube early on Jan. 16, 2008.

During testimony, Pfaff admitted he fought with Berube before an alleged blackout, after which he “came to” with his hands clutching Berube’s throat.

Pfaff said Berube had become boisterous while the two were outside Pfaff’s apartment for a cigarette following some time drinking.

Pfaff said when he told Berube to leave, the victim instead returned to the residence.

One man grabbed the other and that led both of them to fall down the stairs.

Berube grew up and lived in Red Deer for several years before moving to High Level.

Murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation. The maximum sentence upon conviction is life in prison.


December trial in quad case

A Central Alberta man who suffered bullet wounds in connection with the reported theft of a farmer’s all-terrain vehicle is heading to trial in December.

Harold Groening, 30, of Mirror, appeared briefly with his lawyer Bonnie Turner in Stettler provincial court on Thursday morning.

A trial date on charges of possession of stolen property, theft over $5,000 and theft under $5,000 was set for the afternoon of Dec. 8 in Stettler.

Groening was one of three men charged regarding the alleged theft of an ATV from a farm near Tees on March 26.

Outside the courthouse, Groening said he is glad to see his trial going forward.

He is in the process of moving to the West Coast, where he grew up.

Co-accused Kyle Rosenthal, 23, of Alix will head to trial in Stettler on Sept. 21 on theft under $5,000 while another accused, 23-year-old Nick Dewald, also from Alix, will make his first appearance on a theft charge sometime this fall; the date has not been set.

He is said to be out of the province working.

The owner of the quad is alleged to have shot Groening.

Brian Knight, 38, will have a preliminary hearing on Nov. 3 in Stettler on a number of charges, including unlawful use of a firearm.


Court date for teenager

A teenager accused of rummaging through vehicles in a south-end neighbourhood will be back in Red Deer youth court on July 23.

The 17-year-old Innisfail youth, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is charged with one count of trespass by night, one count of resisting arrest and one count of mischief.

Red Deer city RCMP say the youth and an 18-year-old Red Deer man, whose name hasn’t been released, were charged in connection with an incident early on June 29 in the neighbourhood of Anders.

Police say a complaint was received of two young males observed entering a number of vehicles.

The adult man faces similar charges and will be in Red Deer provincial court on Aug. 11.


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