Court Report

Judge orders one man to pay $24,828 in restitution and serve 155 days in jail; another gets 545 days

Slave Lake
Provincial Court
Jan. 31
Judge G. W. Paul

Daniel Richard McGee, 41, was convicted on charges of theft over $5,000 and failing to appear in court.
McGee appeared in court over CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Centre (ERC).
The charges stem from an incident from 2012. The crown explained that the police got a complaint from a disability worker. McGee had been working with someone in this worker’s care. This person was autistic. It was discovered that McGee had been stealing from this individual through online banking. Police were able to trace the money back to McGee’s bank account.
The defense said that McGee had both gambling and cocaine addictions at the time and the money was financing his addiction. McGee has been sober for five years.
Judge Paul said there were several aggravating factors, such as taking advantage of a vulnerable person, abuse of trust, the amount that was stolen, not appearing in court and a record of similar behavior.
Paul did give credit that McGee showed remorse and that he is overcoming his addiction. That said, the judge was mindful that when someone is in this situation they tend to lay low.
Paul pointed out that the joint submission sentence was on the lower end and it is not uncommon for longer sentences in similar cases.
Paul gave McGee credit for 24 days already served, which means he has only 155 days left to serve. He will have to pay a victim surcharge of $100 with no time to pay. He will also have to make restitution to the victim of $24,828.01.
On the failure to attend court, McGee was sentenced to 30 days, which will be served concurrently. There will be a victim fine surcharge of $100 and no time to pay.
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Buddy R. Underwood was convicted of robbery charges and failure to comply with conditions.
Underwood appeared in court live via CCTV from the ERC.
The charges stemmed from an incident where Underwood stole an item from an electronics store. The employee of the store chased him out of the building. Underwood sprayed the employee with bear spray once outside.
The crown recommended 18 months, a lower than average sentence, based on the fact that Underwood did take responsibility for his actions. The crown also recommended a firearm ban and a DNA sample provided.
The defense agreed to the sentence and explained that Underwood suffered a difficult childhood. He suffered violence from his father, saw his mother attempted suicide and he was in and out of child welfare. Underwood developed an addiction to meth.
Judge Paul told Underwood that a lot of people have been dealt a bad hand in life and do not turn to crime. He said that Underwood is not alone in life, as he has the love and support of his sister. He hopes that he takes that to heart
Paul said there were aggravating factors as Underwood has a criminal record and that the robbery was committed with a weapon.
The judge expressed some concern that tlthough Underwood took responsibility for the robbery, he failed to attend court, which led to his arrest. He is also concerned that Underwood is skeptical about addiction treatment.
Paul suggested that Underwood remain clean and sober, as well as, find a trade and focus on his education. He wanted him to set goals and follow in his sister’s image but warned that this would not happen if he continued living this way.
On the robbery charges, Paul sentenced Underwood to 545 days in jail with a credit of 16 days for time already served. On the failure to comply, he was sentenced to 60 days to be served concurrently. A victim fine surcharge was imposed on both charges. It is $200 each with no time to pay.
Underwood will have to submit DNA and a firearm ban was imposed.
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Toni B. Cunningham has been convicted of driving with no insurance.
Cunningham was unable to appear in court that day as she was having a baby. She sent a proxy.
Judge Paul sentenced her to a $2,500 fine and has her until Oct. 31, 2018 to pay. He also imposed the victim fine surcharge of $130. She has until May 30, 2018 to pay that.

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