Man found guilty in machete attack

A Red Deer man has been found guilty of attacking one man with a machete and threatening to attack another while hallucinating after smoking salvia.

A Red Deer man has been found guilty of attacking one man with a machete and threatening to attack another while hallucinating after smoking salvia.

On Jan. 15, 2011, John Casey Wenger, 28, used the machete after trying salvia, a psychoactive plant that has been known to induce hallucinatory experiences. He got into an altercation with a neighbour in his apartment complex.

Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Mitchell found Wenger guilty on Tuesday of striking Robert Bruce Mills in the arm and shoulder blade with the machete.

Mills had stepped in front of his friend, Colton Hill, to protect him from being hit by the machete.

In the early morning hours of that Saturday, Wenger’s neighbours Hill and Mills were hanging out in Hill’s unit down the hall from Wenger with several people.

Wenger had been drinking that night.

According to testimony, the trio decided to use some salvia but only Wenger actually used the drug.

Immediately he began hallucinating.

He testified that he felt Lego blocks fall off the back of his head and that his mouth opened up and swallowed his head. He ran headlong into a wall like he was trying to go through it.

He turned on Mills and started attacking him. Will Willms, defence counsel for Wenger, said Mills attacked him and Wenger testified he only started fighting with Mills after Mills attacked him.

The judge found this testimony to be unreliable as Wenger was the only person who consumed salvia and was clearly hallucinating.

Eventually, Hill and Mills followed Wenger into his bedroom. They could see an object in his hand but they were unclear what it was.

As Wenger lifted it to strike, they realized it was a machete. Mills stood in front of Hill and raised his left forearm to deflect the blow.

The machete severely lacerated his arm. Mills testified he saw blood and muscles coming out of his arm. He ran and Wenger followed, delivering another glancing blow to Mills’ left shoulder blade.

Red Deer RCMP were called. They followed a trail of blood and screams to Wenger’s apartment.

Police found Wenger in his bedroom screaming loudly and flailing madly.

He would alternate between lying on the floor convulsing and jumping up and screaming again.

He was pepper-sprayed but continued flailing violently. It took several officers to get handcuffs on him and ultimately he was given a sedative by EMS and strapped to a stretcher before being taken to hospital.

At the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, he was given five doses of a sedative before he finally calmed down.

The trial spanned September 2012 to December 2013 before Mitchell delivered his verdict on Tuesday.

The judge found Wenger guilty of aggravated assault on Mills and assault on Hill. Charges of using a machete to assault Mills and carrying a machete for the purpose of committing an offence were stayed. Mitchell said this was because convicting him of those charges would violate the rule against multiple convictions for the same offence.

Wenger will be sentenced on April 30 in Red Deer provincial court.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Aaron Goodvin sings at Westerner Days

Aaron Goodvin performed at Westerner Days Wednesday.… Continue reading

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Central Alberta

There’s a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Red Deer and the… Continue reading

WATCH: Sun shines on Red Deer’s Westerner Days parade

George Young has been a Westerner Days parade marshal for about 28… Continue reading

Central Alberta receives funding for regional emergency training

Alberta Municipal Affairs announces $160,000 for training on top of $40,000 previously received

WATCH: Global FMX at Westerner Days

There are three freestyle motocross shows a day at Westerner Park this week

Study links air pollution to drop in national park visitors

DENVER — Visitors appear to be steering clear of some U.S. national… Continue reading

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontari

Three cubs found abandoned in a washroom along the Trans-Canada Highway in… Continue reading

Canada could get caught in cross-fire of U.S. uranium investigation

Canada could get caught in the crossfire after the U.S. Department of… Continue reading

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled his pre-election cabinet, shuffling… Continue reading

Canada’s premiers meet Indigenous groups, although three major groups decline

BOUCTOUCHE, N.B. — Canada’s premiers are meeting with Indigenous organizations in New… Continue reading

An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle

OTTAWA — An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle,… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month