A 17-year-old has pleaded guilty to 17 charges, including eight robberies of businesses in Blackfalds and Red Deer last winter.
The youth, who can’t be named because of provisions in the Canada Youth Justice Act, entered the pleas on Thursday. Four other youths are accused in connection to the robberies that the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to.
Another 17-year-old Blackfalds boy charged entered not guilty pleas to armed robbery and being disguised with intent to commit a crime. He set a trial for this June.
Three other Blackfalds boys, two 17 and one 16, had their charges adjourned to later court dates.
The 17-year-old who pleaded guilty to eight robberies was released from custody on strict bail orders, including a mandatory 24-hour house arrest, excepting for being with a parent or probation officer or having a written note from a parent or probation officer. He is also barred from going to any of the stores he admitted to robbing.
He pleaded guilty to robberies of the Pony Express liquor store in Blackfalds, the 2A liquor store in Blackfalds, an IDA pharmacy, the Glendale Express 24 in Red Deer, Corral Foods in Red Deer, the Highland Green Express 24 in Red Deer and a Fas Gas in Blackfalds. These incidents occurred in January and February. He has been held in custody since his arrest in March.
On top of the eight guilty pleas for robbery, he also entered guilty pleas for three charges of using an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence and four charges of being disguised in the commission of an offence.
Defence counsel Walter Kubanek and Crown prosecutor Blair Brandon told Judge Bert Skinner that they had yet to reach agreement on the facts of the case. As a result, the facts of the eight individual robberies were not read into the record and were moved to the sentencing hearing.
Kubanek requested a pre-sentence report. The 17-year-old will next appear in Red Deer youth court on July 30 for sentencing.
The youth who electing to go to trial on armed robbery and disguise charges will do so on June 25 in Red Deer youth court, represented by Patty MacNaughton.
The other 17-year-old’s case, represented by Will Willms, was adjourned to May 21 in Red Deer Youth Court.
The 16-year-old’s case, represented by Michael Scrase, will occur on May 28.
And the final 17-year-old, represented by student-at-law Jackie Fry, will be back in court on June 4.
Three other Blackfalds boys, aged 14, 16 and 16, made their first appearance in Red Deer youth court on Thursday. They are each charged with two counts of robbery with a weapon for a Feb. 22 incident in Blackfalds in which two men were assaulted and robbed.
All three reserved their pleas and the matter was adjourned to May 21 so the youths had time to obtain counsel.