Accused in store clerk shooting wants trial by judge alone

One of the two men accused of shooting a store clerk during a robbery in September has asked for trial by judge alone in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

One of the two men accused of shooting a store clerk during a robbery in September has asked for trial by judge alone in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Jaysen Arancon Reyes, 26, was airlifted to Calgary Foothills Hospital with severe wounds to his face and hands after an incident at the West Park Fas Gas on Sept. 11.

Police allege that two men, Jeffrey Lyle Geary, 30, and Eric Michael Ayotte, 29, brought a sawed-off shotgun as part of their plan to rob the store.

In Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday, defence counsel Arnold Piragoff of Edmonton entered a plea of not guilty for Ayotte and asked that he be tried by judge alone, with a preliminary hearing to be held on Aug. 11.

Preliminary hearings may be requested to determine whether the Crown’s case is strong enough to proceed to trial.

Geary’s defence counsel, Patty MacNaughton, said she and her client are taking a different route and are working on a plea negotiation with Crown prosecutor Jason Snider.

Geary’s court dates will mesh with Ayotte’s for now, pending results of those negotiations.

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