Man pled guilty to assault with a vehicle by the MRC
October 28, 2020
Judge G.W. Paul
Slave Lake resident John Fredrick Metzner (40) pled guilty to failure to stop after an accident and assault with a weapon. One charge was withdrawn.
On July 20, 2020 at 6:40 p.m. near the Multi Rec Centre, various witnesses saw Metzner speed his vehicle toward the victim, said the Crown prosecutor. He struck a shopping cart that the victim was pushing. The victim continued to hold onto the shopping cart and was thrown to the ground. The Slave Lake RCMP found the victim collapsed on the ground. The victim was transported to hospital, but wasn’t injured.
The original report was that Metzner ran over the victim multiple times, said the Crown. However, video evidence clearly shows that Metzner struck the shopping cart, not the victim.
(The victim was a man in his 20s, said the Slave Lake RCMP shortly after the assault).
At the hospital, the victim gave a statement to police, said the Crown. The victim said: before he was struck, he and Metzner argued in front of Metzner’s home. Metzner swung a tool at his head. The victim pushed Metzner to the ground, and disarmed him. No one else witnessed this part of the altercation.
In the weeks leading up to the assault, many items were stolen in the area, said the defence. Metzner had cordless tools stolen twice and tires from a trailer. The owner of the building near Metzner’s home asked Metzner to keep an eye on it.
Metzner found out that the victim was living in a storage area in that building, the defence continued. The victim walked past Metzner’s property pushing a shopping cart. Metzner told the victim to leave as he wasn’t welcome in the neighbourhood. Metzner says: the victim pushed him to the ground, threatened him and his dogs, and pulled Metzner’s pants off.
“He had a very poor reaction,” said the defence. Metzner struggles with mental health issues and was off his medications. Since the assault, he has been under house arrest and working. He’s reported to his bail supervisor, spending $200 a month on medication, and attending psychiatric appointments.
Metzner’s record was admitted.
Metzner received a suspended sentence of 24 months probation and to submit a DNA sample. The conditions include: abstinence from alcohol, cannabis, and illegal drugs; no contact with the victim;, to take his medications, continue with mental health appointments, and notify his probation officer if he has the slightest inclination to stop taking his medications; and he can only drive if he has a valid licence in his possession in a vehicle which is registered and insured.
A weapon prohibition was discretionary on assault with a weapon.
Judge Paul did not order a weapons prohibition, because Metzner is a subsistence hunter and the weapon in the assault was not a firearm.
Kayla Lynn Laboucan, 30 from near Atikameg, pled guilty to three charges of failure to appear and two breaches of probation. Laboucan was in custody and contacted the court by phone.
On three dates in 2019, Laboucan failed to attend court.
On December 6, 2018, Laboucan was put on probation, said the Crown prosecutor. This included the condition to participate in addictions treatment or counselling as directed by her probation officer. She was also required to give her probation officer proof of completion. The probation officer ordered her to attend residential treatment. On numerous occasions the probation officer reminded Laboucan, but she did not attend.
The Crown continued, by the completion of Laboucan’s probation on August 25, 2019, she had not attended or sent in proof. The probation officer recommended custody, as Laboucan showed “a severe lack of motivation” to deal with her addictions. Also, in 2017, she had been on a conditional sentence order (probation), which ended up being terminated and she spent the remainder of it in prison.
Laboucan has a long history of breaches and failures to appear, said the Crown.
Laboucan was sentenced to a total of 28 days in prison. For the first failure to appear, Laboucan was fined $200. No time to pay was given, so this was converted to two days. She received two days credit. For the other two failures to appear, she received 14 days concurrent to each other, but consecutive to other sentences. She was sentenced to the same for each breach.
Gregory Roy Payne, 29 from Slave Lake, appeared via closed circuit video from Edmonton Remand Centre. He pled guilty to operation of a motor vehicle while disqualified. Another criminal charge and a traffic ticket were withdrawn.
On August 8, 2020, Slave Lake RCMP received a report of a suspicious vehicle, said the Crown. A black Hyundai had been on the side of the road idling for most of the day. The officer noticed that the driver’s door handle and ignition looked like someone had tampered with them. The vehicle came up as stolen from Brampton, Ontario. The officer searched the vehicle. He evidence with Payne’s name on it in the trunk.
A person from the community showed the officer a surveillance video, said the Crown. It showed a man in dark pants and a grey hoodie approach the vehicle, open the driver’s door and start to sit down. Then the video stopped.
Payne approached the vehicle in the same clothes as the man in the video, said the Crown. The officer recognized him. Payne told the officer something along the lines of ‘won’t you let me get my stuff, my whole life is in that vehicle.’ The officer arrested him.
At the station, the Crown said, Payne told the officer he received the vehicle from a girl in Brampton, On. He then drove it to Slave Lake. On August 15, 2020, the officer interviewed the vehicle’s owner, who said a man stole it on July 30, 2020. The vehicle was worth $24,000.
“He’s (Payne’s) now very sober,” said the defence. At the time, he was addicted to drugs. He’d been in custody since August 19, so had 40 days credit.
Payne was sentenced to 30 days, which equalled time served.
Christopher Beresford, 46 from Slave Lake, pled guilty to operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
On September 6, 2020, Slave Lake RCMP noticed a white vehicle driving away from a liquor store, said the Crown. The rear tires jumped the curb. The vehicle was in disrepair and appeared unsafe to be on the road. The RCMP pulled over the vehicle. Beresford failed a mandatory alcohol screening. He blew 0.22, which is almost three times the legal limit.
Beresford only drove to assist a friend in urgent need of help, said the defence.
“This was a mistake,” said Judge Paul.
Beresford received the minimum required penalty for his blood alcohol level: a $2,000 fine, plus $600 victim fine surcharge, and a one-year driving prohibition. Time to pay was given until May 1, 2021. Beresford is eligible to apply for Interlock.
Ian Bruce Courtoreille pled guilty to being at large in Canada.
A Gladue Report was ordered. No details were read in.
Sentencing will be February 10, 2020.