Probation for store employee who stole firearms
Slave Lake Provincial Court
January 27, 2021
Judge G.W. Paul presiding
Jordan Myles Auger entered a guilty plea to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. He was fined $1,500 plus victim surcharge and was disqualified from operating a motor vehicle for a year, with permission to apply for an interlock device after three months if he so desires.
David Junior Muskego pled guilty to driving a vehicle with no insurance. Judge Paul fined Muskego $2875 plus surcharge as prescribed by law.
Darcin Shaw-Supernault pled guilty to a charge of unlawful consumption of alcohol and failure to appear at court proceedings associated with the charge. He was required to pay a fine of $130 for the unlawful consumption ticket and $100 plus victim surcharge for the failure to appear.
Matthew McKinley appeared to answer charges stemming from a July 7, 2018 theft of firearms from Canadian Tire. Surveillance footage showed McKinley removing three boxes containing firearms from a rack in the shipping and receiving area of the Canadian Tire store and placing them in a dumpster for later removal. The shipping clerk in charge realized that some of the firearms had been removed and found the empty boxes in the dumpster. Surveillance video was viewed by the manager and then shown to the RCMP.
McKinley was brought to the detachment for questioning.
McKinley was very forthcoming with the information about the theft, including voluntarily allowing the officers to search his residence.
The search turned up the firearms, though only one of them was in fully operational condition and thus qualified as a firearm for legal purposes.
McKinley pled guilty to theft under $5,000, unauthorized possession of a firearm and possession of firearms obtained by criminal activity. Nine other charges relating to the offence were dropped.
The Crown argued for a period of incarceration of up to eight months due to the serious nature of the crime, particularly the facts that firearms were involved and McKinley had egregiously violated the trust of his employer.
McKinley’s counsel argued that the charges, though serious, did not merit jail time. McKinley’s previous court record showed him to have paid a $200 fine and it was too large a step from a fine to a significant jail term based on the actual severity of the crime.
McKinley is 37, has a full-time job, and an eight-year-old daughter with whom he has visitation rights pending regular successful drug testing. His record up to this time has been minor – petty crimes to support a drug addiction which he is now, mostly successfully, working to overcome.
Judge Paul generally sided with McKinley’s lawyer. He recognized that the breach of trust toward McKinley’s employers at Canadian Tire was very serious, as was the prospect of getting at least one unrecorded firearm out into the community. But those bad decisions were largely the result of a struggle with drug issues that McKinley has recently been successfully addressing. Judge Paul also found the escalation of punishment from a moderate fine to upwards of possibly a year or more in custody was a bit jarring.
In the end Judge Paul opted for giving McKinley 15 months of probation in which he was ordered to keep the peace, be of good behaviour, remain in Alberta, report to a probation officer immediately and follow the probation officer’s instructions to the letter at all times.
He is to perform 75 hours of community service, refrain from all intoxicants, and for the first 12 months observe a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and be ready to present himself at the door of his home at any time required by the authorities during said 12 months.
McKinley was also ordered to pay $150 victim surcharge for each offense, for a total of $450.