One of four men who have been awaiting a preliminary hearing on extortion, kidnapping and assault charges has been sentenced after accepting a plea agreement.
Early in March, Red Deer RCMP arrested four men after investigating reports that another man had been kidnapped, beaten and robbed.
In a news release issued on March 18, police said the kidnapping was a targeted incident and did not pose a risk to the general public.
Logan Mitchell, 18, Gregory Roberts, 26, Scott Hebert, 32, and Thomas Larkin, 33, were arrested and jointly charged with offences including extortion, kidnapping, possession of dangerous weapons, assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and theft of a vehicle worth more than $5,000.
All four suspects pleaded not guilty in Red Deer provincial court on April 12 and asked to be tried in the Court of Queen’s Bench, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 19, 2014.
Faced with the prospect of all four men spending nearly a year in custody awaiting the hearing, Judge Harry Gaede ordered that the Crown make an attempt to find earlier dates.
Earlier this month, Mitchell accepted a plea deal and was sentenced in Red Deer provincial court to 18 months in jail on charges of extortion and vehicle theft, with seven months credit for the time he has spent in remand awaiting trial. Remaining charges against him were dropped as a result of the guilty plea.
Roberts, Hebert and Larkin have maintained their guilty pleas, but waived their request for a preliminary hearing and will go straight to trial in the Court of Queen’s Bench.
Their trial dates will be addressed during the next available arraignment day.