Pleas of not guilty were entered on Tuesday for a man charged with attempted murder and 36 other offences in connection with a violent home invasion and kidnapping just outside of Sylvan Lake on June 3.
Andrew Allen Waunch, of no fixed address, was arrested by Sylvan Lake RCMP investigating complaints that a man and a woman had entered the acreage home of local business owner Randy Sofronovich in an effort to get money from him and the woman who was with him.
Police allege that at least one shot was fired and that one of the home’s occupants was kidnapped and held captive.
Charges against Waunch, 30, include attempted murder, armed robbery, extortion with a firearm, kidnapping, unlawful confinement, discharging a firearm with intent to wound, assault, vehicle theft, dangerous driving, theft and a variety of additional weapons offences.
Also arrested in connection with the incident was Sylvan Lake resident Ashley Dawn Chambers, 24, whose charges include armed robbery, unlawful confinement, illegal use of a firearm, breaking into a dwelling, pointing a gun and illegal possession of a loaded gun that is either prohibited or restricted.
Chambers faces additional charges arising from separate incidents, including fraud, forgery, mail theft, possession of stolen property and breaches of release conditions.
Represented by Hobbema lawyer Denise Lightning, Waunch pleaded not guilty to all 37 charges against him, asking for trial by judge alone in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.
He has asked for a preliminary hearing on the single charge of attempted murder, to be heard on Feb. 19.
Held in custody since his arrest in June, Waunch has not yet had a bail hearing. The issue of whether he can be released before going to trial is to be addressed on the day of his preliminary hearing, which will test the Crown’s case on the attempted murder charge.
A date for his trial will be set after the hearing has concluded.
Chambers had previously asked for trial by judge alone on the charges she is facing, with her preliminary hearing also set for Feb. 19.