Local briefs – January 13

A second person charged in the brutal beating death of a man near Rocky Mountain House last fall was denied bail in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday.

Suspect denied bail

A second person charged in the brutal beating death of a man near Rocky Mountain House last fall was denied bail in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday.

Malvina Jean Beaverbones, 36, of the O’Chiese First Nation Reserve about 50 km northwest of Rocky, was denied bail on a second-degree murder charge by Justice Kirk Sisson in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Cameron Paul Strawberry, 37, was denied bail shortly before Christmas.

A month-long murder preliminary hearing is to begin Aug. 2 for six people charged in the death of Gordon Marlice Strawberry, 45, of the O’Chiese. His body was found outside a reserve residence on Sept. 18. He had been beaten during a house party.

All the accused are charged with second-degree murder and remain in custody.

Preliminary hearings are normally held in the nearest jurisdiction to where the incident occurred. They are held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant the accused stand trial in Queen’s Bench.

Terrence Andy Beaverbones, 21, Darcy John Lightfoot, 30, Evan Everest Foureyes, 21, and Jenny Olivia Beaverbones, 26, are also charged with second-degree murder.


Artists join forces

All kinds of artists from Red Deer College and the community at large will join forces to present The Original Romp.

The sixth-annual fundraiser for Scripts at Work will feature film and stage actors, dancers, visual artists, poets and more. The aim is to showcase original creations for the public, as well as to allow artists to meet and network with each other.

The Romp is on at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30, in Studio A of the Red Deer College Arts Centre. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 at the door, and there’s a cash bar. (The Original Romp may contain adult content, and is intended for mature audiences only).

Artists wanting to participate should call producer Jeff Woodward at 780-340-7274 by Saturday.


Drug bust results in jail

A man originally stopped in a vehicle for having a snow-covered plate was jailed for six months in Red Deer provincial court on Tuesday.

Michael Starman, 23, of Whitecourt, was sentenced after he pleaded guilty late last week to several charges in connection with a incident on Dec. 29 in Deer Park.

Starman, who has a brain-injury from a motor vehicle crash a few years ago, pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm without a licence, possession of stolen property, two counts of breach of recognizance, and three counts of possession of narcotics.

Court heard earlier that police seized a handgun, which wasn’t loaded, brass knuckles, oxycodone, marijuana and methamphetamine.

Legal Aid Society lawyer Murray Shack argued for a sentence that could have put Starman into a substance-abuse problem for drug addiction.

Starman was stopped by a traffic enforcement officer who noticed the snow-covered licence plate. The plate and vehicle turned out to be stolen.

Both occupants had outstanding warrants and were taken into custody without incident.

Jennifer Courchene, 20, of Red Deer, returns to court on Friday to have a bail review after reserving her plea on several charges, including carrying a concealed weapon.

She also faces two counts of possession of stolen property, three counts of failing to comply with court orders and failing to appear in court on unrelated matters.


Heart drive kickoff planned

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, N.W.T. and Nunavut is looking for Central Albertans to help raise funds and provide heart health materials by going door-to-door in their neighbourhood.

Michelle Sluchinski, the foundation’s Red Deer area manager, said volunteers will be assigned a route of about 20 houses. It will take about 1.5 hours to complete and volunteers can decide when to canvass their area in February.

More than $1.5 million was raised in Alberta during the campaign last year and Sluchinski said the goal is to raise $110,000 in Central Alberta. Money raised will help provide funds to approximately 65 researchers across Alberta. Those interested in helping can register online at www.heartandstroke.ca/HELP or by calling 403-342-4435 or 1-888-HSF-INFO.

A Heart Rally will also be held at the Red Deer Heart and Stroke Foundation office on Jan. 20 so volunteers can socialize and pick up their kits. Mayor Morris Flewwelling will attend the event at 4:30 p.m. to sign a proclamation declaring February as Heart Month.

The rally runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 202, 5913 50th Ave. Those interested in registering can also do so at the rally.


Murder hearing date set

A preliminary hearing to hear evidence in a double murder near Tees has been set for August.

Morris William Phillips, 47, formerly from the Lacombe area, is accused of killing two Central Alberta men on April 7, 2008. He is charged with two counts each of first-degree and/or second-degree murder and committing an indignity to human remains.

He is also charged with arson, alleged to have occurred on April 27, 2008, at a home he owned near Tees.

The bodies of Thomas Joseph Shaughnessy, 46, of Red Deer, and Thomas Robert Howells Jr., 40, of the Wetaskiwin and Red Deer areas, were found in a field after police received a call from a farmer near Lamont, east of Edmonton, on May 30, 2008.

Shaughnessy and Howells were reported missing in early April 2008.

Phillips was arrested on Oct. 23.

He will have a five-day hearing in Red Deer provincial court beginning on Aug. 2. The other hearing dates are scattered through August and on Sept. 2.

Phillips was released on bail in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench in December. He now lives in Saskatchewan.