Local briefs – February 24

A Red Deer man charged in connection with a robbery, theft and possession of numerous weapons offences on Wednesday reserved his plea on a separate stolen vehicle matter in Red Deer court.

Man reserves plea in stolen vehicle case

A Red Deer man charged in connection with a robbery, theft and possession of numerous weapons offences on Wednesday reserved his plea on a separate stolen vehicle matter in Red Deer court.

Stanley Chad Cox, 46, appeared in Red Deer provincial court via closed circuit television and reserved his plea on a charge of stealing a motor vehicle in Innisfail valued at more than $5,000 sometime between Jan. 19 and Feb. 1.

Cox returns to Red Deer court on Friday to enter a plea.

Cox also returns to Didsbury provincial court on Monday to enter a plea on charges stemming from a drugstore robbery in Olds.

His son, Tyler Chad Cox, 21, of Red Deer also appears on Friday on weapons charges and then on Monday in Didsbury on the robbery charge.

They were arrested on Feb. 12 after police executed a search warrant on a home in the South Hill area of Red Deer.

Police seized 10 firearms, including some with altered barrels, a quantity of ammunition and a variety of prescription drugs.

On Feb. 1 just before 6 p.m., two masked suspects walked into the Rexall pharmacy in Olds. One of the robbers was armed with a long-barrelled gun and the other with a handgun. They quickly walked towards the rear of the store and took an employee with them.

RCMP say the suspects made off with a large amount of oxycontin, amphetamines, morphine and codeine. No one was injured.

Both accused are charged with 13 counts of possession of a weapon from the Red Deer incident.

In relation to the Olds incident, they are also charged with disguised with intent and using a firearm in the commission of an offence.

Man sentenced to 2 years for possession of loaded gun

A young man who just turned 20 will spend the next two years in a federal jail for possessing a loaded handgun.

Biong Arop of Edmonton was sentenced to a minimum three-year sentence for possession of the .25-calibre handgun discovered by RCMP in Stettler last March 6.

Arop pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Red Deer provincial court to unauthorized possession of a loaded firearm and causing a disturbance.

Several other charges were withdrawn by Crown prosecutor Tony Bell in exchange for the guilty pleas.

Arop has been in custody since his arrest following an argument with his cousin in Stettler.

He was given credit for a year in jail on the mandatory minimum three-year sentence, which was introduced into legislation more than two years ago.

Bell said RCMP were called to a motel after a disturbance was reported in one of the rooms.

Arop and his cousin were involved in a scuffle.

When police burst in, they found Arop trying to hide in the bathroom. During the arrest, the loaded gun, which had been tucked in Arop’s back waistband, fell to the floor.

Defence lawyer Brad Mulder said later a preliminary hearing was held late last year before his client decided to change his plea instead of waiting for a date to be set for trial in Court of Queen’s Bench.

Judge David Plosz told Arop for such a young man he has compiled a lengthy record.

Arop is also prohibited from owning or possessing firearms and explosives for 10 years after his release from jail.

City raising awareness about bylaw mediation

The City of Red Deer hopes to raise public awareness about its mediation program designed to resolve bylaw complaints.

Joyce Boon, co-manager of the Inspections and Licensing Department, gave an annual report on the mediation program during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The program began as a pilot project in 2011 and since then, nine requests for mediation have arisen.

The majority of mediation requests come from the RCMP, peace officers and compliance officers who investigate, warn and, at times, charge individuals. This often results in repeat complaints, which may not solve the initial problem.

The types of disputes involving mediation could be noise issues, dogs or other animals, parking complaints or other civic matters, conflicts with neighbours over fences, weeds and the like.

“These are nagging complaints that don’t seem to go away,” said Boon.

The program is offered to a number of people during conversations but many don’t take part, she added.

Two mediator businesses have been contracted by the city to act as a neutral third party. A typical mediation session runs one to two hours.

Out of the nine mediation requests, four came to a successful mutual agreement. Two requests are currently at mediation.

Councillor Cindy Jefferies said she understood this program was to help bring “savings on the policing side.”

Plans are to have the mediation co-ordinator and one of the mediators attend additional RCMP watch briefings in 2011.

Council studies fluoridation vote

Red Deer voters may have their say on whether the city should fluoridate its drinking water — but not until 2013.

City Councillor Buck Buchanan brought forward a notice of motion regarding fluoridation on Tuesday in council chambers.

The motion will be discussed at the next public council meeting on March 7.

The motion calls for administration to prepare a question for voters in conjunction with the municipal election in 2013.

The last time a plebiscite was held on fluoridation was in the mid-1950s and since then, the water treatment plant is legally required to continue this practice.

Fluoridation has sparked debate in recent years as some people believe that the cavity-fighting chemical causes health issues. Plus, people don’t have any choice on whether they want the compound in their water, say fluoride opponents.

Alberta Health Services and dental associations say scientific studies have not found water fluoridation to cause adverse health effects.

Calgary city council recently supported the removal of fluoride.

Plea on murder charge reserved

A Red Deer woman facing a second-degree murder charge reserved her plea during a brief appearance in Red Deer court on Wednesday.

Jolyn Ten Hove, 37, appeared on closed-circuit television. Her lawyer, Brad Mulder, reserved her plea until March 9.

Mulder told court he was hoping to receive a batch of disclosure on Friday outlining the Crown’s case.

Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson said the Crown wants to combine Ten Hove’s charge with that of co-accused Martin Munro, 36, formerly of Miramichi, N.B., who is also charged with second-degree murder and returns to court on March 2.

They were both charged on Jan. 20, after the body of George William McDonald, 40, of Red Deer was discovered in a residence on Forest Close.

An autopsy revealed that the victim had been strangled.

Police alleged earlier that a fight broke out between two males in the residence.

The victim and the suspects knew each other, police said.

Wanted man arrested in Saskatchewan

A Central Alberta man who had been on the lam since last November was arrested recently in Saskatchewan.

Darryl Daniels, 40, was arrested without incident on Feb. 19 at a residence in Fort Qu’Appelle in southeastern Saskatchewan.

A Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued for Daniels by Red Deer City RCMP on Nov. 18.

Daniels was on statutory release from a two-and-a-half-year sentence for drug trafficking, failing to attend court and obstructing a peace officer.

He was unlawfully at large for not complying with parole regulations at the time of the warrant.

It’s expected that Daniels will serve the remainder of his federal sentence.

Man allowed to obtain substance abuse help

A Red Deer man convicted last fall of theft and other charges was granted another extension on Wednesday to obtain more substance abuse counselling.

Joel Marshall Looby, 21, returns to Red Deer provincial court on June 15 to be sentenced for numerous lottery ticket thefts, mischief and trespassing.

Looby, who was in custody for a brief time after he was arrested last October, pleaded guilty in late November.

Sentencing was adjourned then to allow Looby to obtain treatment for a drug addiction.

He will spend another 90 days in counselling, Red Deer provincial court heard on Wednesday.

Looby was originally charged with eight counts of stealing lottery tickets valued at less than $5,000 from various Red Deer businesses.

Court heard earlier that between last Oct. 1 and 11, Looby pilfered trays of lottery tickets from the businesses.

Police said he stole trays of tickets from convenience stores and other businesses.