All charges dropped in alleged road rage incident

Crown prosecutor cites identification issues in dropping charges against accused

All charges have been dropped against a man accused of firing a gun in a road rage incident in Red Deer a year ago.

Crown prosecutor Katie Clarey said in Red Deer provincial court on Monday the matter was “reviewed in depth” however there were “insurmountable” issues around proving the identity of the alleged shooter.

A trial had been scheduled Monday afternoon for Mathew Duda, 30, who had been facing half a dozen weapons-related charges and a charge of failing to stop for police.

After all charges were withdrawn, Judge John Holmes told Duda he was free to go.

Outside court, defence lawyer Maurice Collard spoke on behalf of his client.

“Mr. Duda has always denied being the shooter and I think the Crown recognized they would have had serious issues proving the identity of the shooter,” said Collard.

“Mr. Duda is very happy with the result and looks forward to being free and putting this matter behind him.”

The charges stemmed from an incident on July 12, 2016. Police were called about 5:25 a.m. to the Corral Foods parking lot on 59th Avenue.

RCMP said at the time the driver of a truck attempted to confront the driver of a white Chrysler Intrepid after a traffic dispute.

Police alleged the man driving the Intrepid pointed a handgun at the truck and then shot at it as the truck departed. No one was injured, and the suspect vehicle fled eastbound on 67th Street.

The Intrepid was later spotted by police and followed it to the area of Range Road 275 west of Red Deer. The driver abandoned the car and fled on foot and was not located.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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