Court Report

Man sentenced to 14 days for stealing Orange Crush

Slave Lake
Provincial Court
December 9, 2020
Judge G.W. Paul

Evan Clifford Brown (33) was in custody. On his behalf, his lawyer entered guilty pleas to eight criminal offences and a traffic ticket for driving without insurance. The crimes were possession of property obtained by crime, possession of a controlled substance, shoplifting under $5,000 (x3), failure to comply (x2), and resisting a peace officer. The Crown withdrew two criminal charges and two traffic tickets.

On Dec. 13, 2019, Slave Lake RCMP were called to a break-and-enter, said the federal Crown prosecutor. The home owner didn’t want to press charges, considering that Brown was intoxicated on drugs. Brown was put in cells until sober. In his cell, he removed a small bag from his pants and snorted a white substance. A guard told the RCMP. Officers strip-searched Brown. They found 3.4 grams of methamphetamine hidden within his clothing.

This is simple possession, said the federal Crown, but on the high end. Brown has no related drug convictions.

On Sept. 10, 2019 at around 11 p.m., a Slave Lake RCMP officer noticed Brown driving a 1998 Toyota car, said the Crown. The officer knew that Brown’s driver’s license was suspended. He ran the license plate. It was for a 2007 Toyota pickup, registered to a Slave Lake hotel. The officer pulled Brown over. The vehicle was not registered or insured.

On February 8, 2020, video footage shows Brown entering Marks in Slave Lake, said the Crown. He puts a pair of pants under his jacket, a vest, and then a jacket. He then exits the store without paying. The cost of the stolen items was $331.64.

On February 6, 2020, a Slave Lake RCMP officer was patrolling Main St., said the Crown. An Appara Shoes employee flagged the officer down. The employee reported that Brown had stolen a pair of shoes. The officer saw Brown walking nearby wearing brand new shoes which matched the description. Brown told the officer these were shoes he’d just stolen.

On July 9, 2020 at 10 p.m., Brown was at a Slave Lake residence, the Crown said. He was under conditions to have no contact with the person whose house it was and to not be in Slave Lake.

On the night of July 15, 2020, Brown entered the 7-Eleven in Slave Lake, said the Crown. He stole an Orange Crush from near the entrance. He was under conditions to not be in Slave Lake and under a curfew. When police found him, they told him that he was under arrest. Brown ran away from the police. Police found him and arrested him without incident.

Brown has an ongoing struggle with addiction to illegal drugs, said the defence. He is homeless, but has applied to a shelter in Edmonton and to residential drug treatment.

Judge Paul asked about his life before he was 30 and started getting in trouble with the law.

Brown worked in the oilfield in Slave Lake, said the defence.

Brown needs to deal with his addictions, said Judge Paul. It is obvious that it is fueling his criminal behaviour. “Stealing an Orange Crush, for crying out loud.”

Brown was fined, sentenced to jail, and put on probation for one year. The jail time equalled time served.

The mandatory fine for driving without insurance is $2,875. Other fines were $500 for possession of property and $1,500 for possession of a controlled substance.

Brown was put on two concurrent one-year probations, for shoplifting. Conditions of note were to not be in Slave Lake, except to visit his own children, and to take assessment, treatment, and counselling as directed with a focus on drug addiction.

For the first failure to comply, Brown was sentenced to seven days in jail. He was sentenced to 14 days each concurrent for shoplifting, resisting a peace officer, and failure to comply on July 15, 2020.

Lester Paul Laliberte (51) pled guilty to operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level 0.08 or higher.

On September 15, 2020 at around 9 p.m., a Slave Lake RCMP officer was on patrol, said the Crown. The plates of one vehicle came up as not registered to a vehicle. The officer pulled the vehicle over. Laliberte was driving. He failed a mandatory breath screening. His blood alcohol level was 0.08.

Laliberte had one related conviction from 14 years ago, but the Crown did not recommend counting this against him.

Laliberte received the mandatory sentence for a first impaired driving conviction – $1,000, plus victim fine surcharge, and a one-year driving prohibition.

A man entered a 12-month $1,000 peace bond. The conditions were to have no contact with the victim and to take relationship counselling. A criminal charge was withdrawn.

Rocky Jerry Stewart (47), from Atikameg, pled guilty to theft of a motor vehicle. A charge of mischief damage was withdrawn.

On August 28, 2020, Stewart stole a motor home in Slave Lake, said the Crown. It was hooked up to power and water. The owner ran after Stewart and removed him from the RV. Stewart ran away. A neighbour was alerted to the altercation by his dogs. He gave chase, caught Stewart and brought him to the RV owner’s residence. Police arrested Stewart.

Stewart was completely inebriated, said the defence. He started drinking at a young age, and sobriety has been challenging. His criminal record is minimal.

Stewart received a suspended sentence of 12 months probation and a $200 victim fine surcharge. Conditions include to report, take assessment (etc.), and not be behind the wheel of a vehicle unless he is the registered owner or has the owner’s written permission.

Paul Henry Twinn (51), of Sawridge First Nation, pled guilty to possession of a weapon knowing its possession is unauthorized. A charge of possession of a controlled substance was withdrawn.

On February 28, 2020, Slave Lake RCMP and Lakeshore Regional Police Services searched Twinn’s house on Sawridge First Nation, said the Crown. Twinn was in his bedroom on the top floor. In this room, there was a 0.410 shotgun lying in a child’s playpen. In the on suite bathroom, there was ammunition. Twinn acknowledged it was 0.410 and that he didn’t have a gun license.

Braden Eric Foster (convicted last week) and a female co-accused were staying in another room in the house, said the Crown. In that room, police found evidence of drug trafficking. They were not home at the time of the raid.

Outside under Twinn’s bathroom window, police found a bag of cocaine, said the Crown. The window was open, and Twinn was the only person who was close enough to have thrown it out.

Twinn has a criminal record.

Twinn waived his right to a Gladue report, said the defence. He’s struggled with addiction to alcohol his whole life. He acknowledges the need for treatment.

“It is time at your age to get treatment,” said Judge Paul.

Twinn received a suspended sentence of 18 months probation and a 10-year weapons ban. Conditions of note are to have no weapons, including knives except for eating, and to take assessment (etc.) for alcohol addiction.

Victorine Twin (44), from Swan River First Nation, pled guilty to trafficking in property obtained by crime. The Crown withdrew 10 other charges.

On October 1, 2018, Lakeshore Regional Police Service received a report of a theft on Swan River First Nation, said the Crown. An iPad, two laptops and a TV were stolen.

On Oct. 2, they observed Twin selling items in the High Prairie Peavey Mart parking lot. She was in a truck she’d recently purchased. The licence on the truck was stolen. The iPad was recovered from someone who confirmed that they had bought it from Twin for $50.

Twin is living in Edmonton at the moment, said the defence. She’s finished a residential treatment program and is living in a sober living house.

“The driving factor was addiction,” said the Crown, “and she seems to be coming to terms with that.”

“Miss Twin, your record is obviously an aggravating factor,” said Judge Paul.

Twin was sentenced to 120 days. This equalled time served.

The sentence “sets the bar,” said Judge Paul.

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