Dangerous offender hearing stalled by paperwork mistake

Crown prosecutor wants man convicted of Christmas Day 2015 murder declared a dangerous offender

A paperwork blunder stalled a dangerous offender hearing in a Red Deer courtroom Tuesday.

Crown prosecutor Ed Ring was about to make his arguments before a judge on why Chad Alexander Kulba should be declared a dangerous offender when the faulty criminal record check came to light.

What was supposed to be entered into evidence as the official record of Kulba’s criminal convictions, as well as a fingerprint analysis, arrived incomplete from RCMP’s Ottawa offices on Tuesday morning.

The document ended in 2011, omitting three more recent convictions, including a manslaughter conviction for a brutal 2015 Christmas Day killing in Red Deer.

Ring told Judge Bruce Fraser that the missing convictions “significantly impact the Crown’s position.”

Fraser said the criminal record summary was clearly “defective,” and it’s “not a true reflection of his criminal record.”

The missing convictions are an important part of the prosecutor’s dangerous offender argument, he acknowledged.

“Without the full record, you do lose the presumption (of dangerousness).”

To have someone declared a dangerous or long-term offender, a Crown prosecutor must prove that the criminal would be a danger to the public, shows a pattern of “persistent aggressive behaviour” and is “unlikely to be inhibited by normal standards of behavioural restraint.”

The manslaughter conviction followed a trial in April 2018. The dangerous offender application is part of the sentencing hearing for that crime.

Fraser said the missing information makes the determination of dangerous offender status “extremely difficult.

“I don’t like proceeding on incorrect information, quite frankly.”

Defence lawyer George Lebessis said in light of the issues involving the criminal record check, he wants to cross-examine the RCMP staffer in Ottawa who prepared the incorrect report.

The delay raises the issue of whether Kulba has been sentenced within a reasonable amount of time, he said.

Under a 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision, a 30-month deadline was set for resolving cases involving serious offences.

Lebessis will argue why the manslaughter conviction should be stayed before Fraser in a separate session in the new year.

The sentencing hearing will also continue early next year.

When someone is declared a dangerous offender, the judge can order an indeterminate prison sentence, a set prison sentence, or a sentence with a long-term supervision order.

The judge could also declare Kulba a long-term offender, which calls for a sentence of at least two years, plus up to 10 years of long-term supervision.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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