Court losing patience with accused in death of longboarder

A Penhold woman implicated in the death of a longboarder late in May has been given two more weeks to make some decisions on a growing list of criminal charges.

A Penhold woman implicated in the death of a longboarder late in May has been given two more weeks to make some decisions on a growing list of criminal charges.

Jessica Masyk, 25, has been in custody since Aug. 18 when she and another suspect were arrested in Red Deer by police investigating a violent incident in the Highland Green residential subdivision.

Red Deer City RCMP reported at the time that suspects attempting to escape in a stolen pickup truck had smashed into a number of other vehicles, including two police cars. Masyk was charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon, flight from police and possession of stolen property.

At the time of her arrest, Masyk had been granted bail and was awaiting court proceedings on charges laid earlier in connection with the death of Trystan Sorensen, 18. Sorensen was struck down on May 20 while longboarding along Hwy 592, west of Penhold.

Masyk has yet to enter pleas on charges, including leaving the scene of an injury or fatal collision, public mischief and driving while disqualified.

Further investigations since she was returned to custody resulted in new charges being laid by Sylvan Lake RCMP, alleging that she was a party to the theft of a pickup truck in Eckville on Aug. 6 and was found in Sylvan Lake in possession of a stolen pickup truck, other stolen property and a variety of illegal drugs. Masyk was also charged with harbouring suspect Steve Lagace, who was unlawfully at large at the time.

Lagace is now serving a 26-month sentence after pleading guilty in Red Deer provincial court on Oct. 14 to arson in connection with the SUV alleged to have killed Sorensen.

Masyk had originally reported the vehicle stolen. Its burned-out remains were later found abandoned in a field east of Innisfail.

Lagace admitted during court proceedings to taking the vehicle and setting it on fire.

A second man arrested in connection with the arson is to stand trial in Red Deer provincial court on Dec. 11.

In Red Deer provincial court on Friday, Judge David Plosz warned Masyk and her counsel, through a law student acting as her agent, that they will have no more opportunities to adjourn the proceedings against her. Masyk was told that she and defence counsel Kaitlyn Perrin of Calgary must come to court prepared to enter her elections and pleas or she will be presumed to have pleaded not guilty and hearings will be scheduled for her.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

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