Court Report

Two assaults ‘by spitting’: one $500-fine, the other 14 days

Slave Lake
Provincial Court
March 4, 2020
Judge C.K. Thietke
presiding

March 4 court had only one conviction.


At trial, Hannah L. Arcand changed her plea from not guilty to guilty of two charges. These were operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over 0.08 and assault. Two other charges were withdrawn.

A Gladue report and an agreed statement of facts were ordered. Sentencing will be June 10, 2020.

Slave Lake
Provincial Court
March 11, 2020
Judge D. R. Shynkar
presiding

Appearing via closed circuit video from Edmonton Remand Centre, Vernon Wayne Laboucan, from High Prairie, pled guilty to four charges. Seven charges were withdrawn. The charges were from two instances. The first was an assault. The second resulted in three weapons charges.

On January 31, 2020 at 4 p.m., Slave Lake RCMP were called to assist a Slave Lake bylaw officer, said the Crown. The bylaw officer had been called to deal with Laboucan in the men’s bathroom between the town office and library. Laboucan was obviously intoxicated on some substance. He later admitted that he was high on methamphetamine.

There was a confrontation between Laboucan and the bylaw officer, said the Crown. The result was the bylaw officer confining Laboucan in a bathroom stall, while waiting for the RCMP. While they were waiting, a town employee came in to help. Laboucan spit over the stall door. The spit hit this man in the chest.

The next day, Laboucan had no memory of the incident, but had no problem believing that it had happened.

On February 6, 2020, Slave Lake RCMP received a report of a man on foot being chased by three men in a vehicle, said the Crown. The victim escaped into a convenience store. His face and eyes were red. It was obvious he’d been sprayed with bear spray. He described the suspects’ vehicle, where it was likely going, and who was in the truck, but refused to say which one pepper sprayed him.

The police found the truck at the residence, with the lights still on, said the Crown. There were two males in the vehicle. Laboucan was in the driver’s seat. The officer arrested both for assault with a weapon. Visible behind the centre seat was a sawed off .22. Sawed off firearms are prohibited weapons. The passenger admitted the gun was his.

Laboucan was the driver and was aware that the gun was there and that it was a prohibited weapon. He pled guilty to improper storage of a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Laboucan’s record was admitted.

For assault, Laboucan was fined $500. No time to pay was given, the default prison time is concurrent to his other sentence. For improper storage of a weapon and carrying a concealed weapon, he was sentenced to 30 days each. He was sentenced to 90 days for possession of a prohibited weapon. All sentences are concurrent, so a total of 90 days.

Laboucan had credit for 52 days, so 38 left to serve.

Laboucan also received a 10 year prohibition from possessing any weapons.


Dennis Joe Houle, a 38-year-old from Wabasca, pled guilty to operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over 0.08.

On December 9, 2019 at 8:22 p.m., an Slave Lake RCMP officer noted a vehicle speeding in a residential district, the Crown said. The vehicle was associated with a person who was wanted in connection with some crimes. The officer pulled the vehicle over. Houle had a mouthful of dried tobacco, which he claimed was gum. After he spit it out, he did the mandatory alcohol screening. He failed.

At the detachment, his lowest reading was 270 mg per gram of blood (0.27), over three times the legal limit. Anything over 0.16 is considered highly aggravating, with a minimum fine of $2,000.

Houle had two dated related priors: from 2000 and 2005.

Houle has been accepted into a 56 day residential alcohol treatment plan, said duty council. He’s struggled with alcohol, since he started drinking when he was 14. The right to a Gladue Report was waived.

Houle was fined $2,000, put on one year of probation, and prohibited from driving for two years. He is eligible to apply for Interlock. The probation has statutory conditions, plus the requirement to complete residential alcohol treatment within the first 10 months.

Time to pay was given until November 9, 2020.


Mark David Gladue, a 44-year-old from Whitefish Lake, pled guilty to assaulting a peace officer and failure to comply with conditions.

On July 21, 2019, Slave Lake RCMP received a complaint of an intoxicated male near a bank in Slave Lake, said the Crown. They found Gladue lying on the ground. An hour earlier an officer had let him off with a warning for panhandling near a grocery store in Slave Lake. The officer tried to wake Gladue. Gladue was unresponsive and smelled of liquor. When he woke up, his speech was slurred. As the officer was putting him in the police car, Gladue spat on his chest.

On August 8, 2019, a Slave Lake RCMP officer was patrolling an area by businesses in Slave Lake, said the Crown. She noticed Gladue urinating against a building. Gladue was obviously intoxicated. He was under conditions to abstain from alcohol.

Gladue’s record was admitted.

Gladue struggles with alcohol addiction, the defence said. He started drinking at age seven, when an uncle started to give him alcohol. In 2018, he attended alcohol addictions treatment and was sober for a time.

For assault of a peace officer Gladue received 14 days. He was sentenced to seven days for failure to comply. The sentences and the victim fine surcharge are concurrent. He has credit for four days.

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