Sentencing for two men who attacked an RCMP officer on a rural Red Deer County road in 2019 has been delayed to await a psychological assessment.
Johnathan Andrews and Chasetin Morin pleaded guilty to attempting to disarm a police officer and robbery in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench last December.
Justice Gillian Marriott agreed at the time to a request from Andrews’ lawyer that he receive a mental health assessment, as well as a pre-sentence report, to be considered in sentencing. A pre-sentence report was also ordered for Morin.
The court heard on Thursday that the psychological assessment is not yet available. Courts have heard that waits for certain types of mental health and psychiatric assessments can be lengthy, six months or more in some cases.
Marriott adjourned the case until July 14, when she will hear sentencing submissions from Andrews’ and Morin’s lawyers. The Crown prosecutor is seeking five-year sentences for the men.
Sentencing has been set for July 21.
RCMP officer Const. Lottie Bell testified in court last December she feared for her life when she was jumped by three men after she stopped to help them on an isolated rural road in Red Deer County around 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2019.
Bell had pulled over to assist the men, whose vehicle was stuck, when she was violently thrown to the ground by Andrews. He and Morin then got on top of the five-foot-two, 130-pound officer and tried to pry her gun out of its holster.
The officer managed to hit the emergency button on her radio before a third man, Levi Bennink, ripped the radio cord out. He also pulled a microphone linked to her cruiser’s video system off her coat and threw it away.
Unable to get her gun, all three ran off and stole her police vehicle, which was parked nearby on Range Road 10 near the Burnt Lake Trail, about 10 km west of Red Deer.
Bell fired at Morin, the driver, as he drove past. Morin was not hit but Bennink was wounded in the calf. Andrews was hit in the foot, but the bullet did not penetrate his skin. A round hit the front windshield of her vehicle as it sped off.
The police vehicle ran off the road soon after and the three men were tracked down by a police dog and arrested nearby.
Bennink pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and robbery in November 2021 and was sentenced to four years in prison.