Court briefs – July 20

A Saskatoon man charged with attempting to kill three Central Alberta RCMP officers last summer will go to trial March 15 to 26, 2010, in Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer.

Attempted murder trial scheduled

A Saskatoon man charged with attempting to kill three Central Alberta RCMP officers last summer will go to trial March 15 to 26, 2010, in Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer.

Kenneth Thomas Janzen, 25, is charged with three counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a vehicle, two counts of attempting to commit assault with a vehicle and two counts of criminal flight from police causing bodily harm.

He is also charged with single counts of failure to stop at the scene of an accident, obstructing police, dangerous operation of a vehicle and criminal negligence.

Janzen, was charged on July 30, 2008, after a vehicle struck and seriously injured an Innisfail RCMP officer who was on foot after deploying a spike belt near Antler Hill just north of Innisfail on Hwy 2.

Police said a vehicle had stopped on Hwy 2 near Red Deer.

Janzen is alleged to have exited the vehicle and run in and out of traffic, attempting to stop vehicles to help him pick up garbage.

An RCMP cruiser pulled up and when the officer attempted to talk to Janzen, Janzen allegedly jumped into his vehicle and took off.

He is alleged to have swerved to avoid a spike belt and slammed into Const. Danny Knight, who suffered a severely broken leg and a head cut.

The chase ended near Olds when another spike belt disabled the vehicle and it rolled several times.

Authorities allege two other officers involved in the pursuit were also intended victims.


Jury to hear attempted murder case

A man charged with attempted murder in a domestic dispute will be on trial May 10 to June 4, 2010, in Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer.

Hamadullah Barkza, 33, of Red Deer, who elected to be tried by judge and jury trial, is also charged with choking during an indictable offence and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.

Jury selection for the four-week trial is on May 3.

Barkza was charged on April 18, 2008, after RCMP responded to a stabbing complaint at a residence in the 3300 block of 51st Avenue Close.

It’s alleged that a 21-year-old woman and the accused both suffered stab wounds.

Both were hospitalized. The woman received non-life-threatening injuries and the accused was released from hospital a few days later.

Two children in the residence were not injured.


Drunk driving trial set for March 2010

A Red Deer man charged with drunk driving causing death more than two years ago will go to trial in March 2010 in Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer.

Peter Tytsma, 36, was set to go on trial on June 22, but a new date was required because an expert’s report, requested by defence lawyer Will Willms, wasn’t expected be ready.

The seven-day trial is now scheduled to run March 2 to 5 and March 8 to 10.

Tytsma is charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and operating a motor vehicle when his blood alcohol exceeded the legal limit.

Paul Seguin, 35, was in a small pickup heading west on 39th Street at Exeter Crescent on April 18, 2007, when his vehicle collided with an eastbound half-ton pickup truck.

Seguin died of head injuries a few days later, on April 24.


Stabbing trial to last four weeks

A four-week trial is scheduled for April 2010 for a man charged in a downtown stabbing death in August 2008.

Blair Andrew Neill, 41, of Red Deer is charged with first-degree murder in connection with stabbing death of Nathan Casey.

Neill elected a judge and jury trial in Queen’s Bench Court in Red Deer.

On Aug. 26, police and emergency personnel were called to an altercation in the 4700 block on 54th Street and found the accused with a stab wound.

They later discovered Casey with a stab wound, in a vehicle parked near 55th Street and 47th Avenue. He later died from his injury.


Rocky man chooses trial by judge

A Rocky Mountain House man will go to trial March 1 to 3, 2010, on several charges, including threats to shoot police during a Boxing Day standoff.

Whayne Tooley, 28, will be tried in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench by judge alone on charges of extortion using a firearm and assault with a weapon.

Tooley also faces two counts of uttering threats, careless use of a weapon, possession of a weapon and unlawful confinement.

The charges arose after an incident in Rocky Mountain House on Dec. 26, 2008.

Police were called to a residence after a woman reported that her fiancé had assaulted her, was armed with a gun and was threatening to shoot police. An RCMP emergency response team, including a hostage negotiator and police dog unit, responded to the call.

The suspect surrendered four hours later without incident.


Sentencing delayed for assessment

CALGARY — The sentencing of a truck stop clerk who staged a fake robbery has been delayed amid concerns about the mental state of one of his accomplices.

Provincial court Judge Frank Maloney said he will consider sending the man’s uncle for a psychiatric assessment if it’s requested by his lawyer.

Defence counsel Pat Flynn said he wasn’t ready to speak to sentencing after receiving pre-sentence reports on behalf of both his clients.

Corey James Rolfe, 19, and George Edward Ferguson, 45, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to commit theft. Rolfe, who was a clerk at the Road King truck stop, also pleaded guilty to charges of theft and public mischief for reporting the fake heist.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Bhola said the two men, along with a young offender, received $300 in the phoney robbery, in which the disguised youth brandished a knife.

“After he left the scene, the accused, Corey Rolfe, contacted the police — he reported the robbery,” Bhola said.

The staged crime last Aug. 13, was planned by the two younger individuals before Ferguson provided the weapon which was used.

Maloney said he was concerned about Ferguson’s report prepared by probation which suggested a psychiatric assessment might be warranted.

Maloney wondered why a middle-aged family man with a stable job and no criminal record would get tied up in such a scheme.

“This was a stupid thing to do, to put it lightly,” he said.

Flynn said he was hesitant to seek a mental assessment, despite the fact Ferguson — despite his age — wasn’t the leader of the conspiracy.

“It appears that the 17-year-old was leading,” he said.

A sentencing date will be set Aug. 6, and Maloney suggested Flynn consider the issue of an assessment in the interim.

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