Slave Lake Provincial Court
May 31, 2017
Judge G.W. Paul presiding
Victor Beaver appeared via closed circuit and pled guilty to a charge of robbery. On the morning of January 21, 2017 at about 5:17 a.m. Beaver entered Mac’s convenience store heavily intoxicated and spoke briefly to the clerk. He then went to the back of the store and waited till the other patrons left. He approached the desk, produced a kitchen knife and demanded money from the clerk. The clerk opened the register and gave Beaver a few bills after which Beaver left the building. The clerk called the police, and in the course of the investigation one of the officers looked outside and saw a person wandering about. Upon investigating, the officer found Beaver, showing obvious signs of drunkenness; smelling of alcohol, slurring his speech and having issues with his balance. He was identified by the clerk and taken into custody.
Beaver claimed that he had started drinking at his home and doesn’t remember anything after that. He lives in Slave Lake and is an out-of-work oilfield labourer. He admits to addiction issues and asked the court to recommend treatment for him.
Judge Paul told the court that Beaver’s record showed 16 break-and-enter convictions. Armed robbery of a convenience store was a step up, involving at least some level of violence and threat to the clerk. The fact that the weapon used was a kitchen knife and it was obvious that pre-planning was not a factor in this crime was very small mitigation. Convenience store clerks are in a vulnerable position and need to be protected from even this level of threat. Judge Paul gave Beaver a two-year sentence, imposed a DNA order and imposed a firearm prohibition for the next 10 years. He urged Beaver to take advantage of the substance abuse counseling which will be available at the institution in which he will be spending the next two years.
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Alcohol was also the theme of the Crown’s case against Jamie Conrad Nanemahoo who pled guilty to charges of failure to appear at a court proceeding and failure to comply with undertakings to avoid drinking. Nanemahoo was picked up drunk outside the Riverside Convenience store in Wabasca on July 25, 2016 and released on an undertaking, which he breached later that day. He was in court in April where he was given a nine-month suspended sentence for breaching conditions of his release. And on May 12, 2017, he was again picked up at the Riverside store for intoxication and sent to Edmonton.
Nanemahoo is an out-of-work oilfield labourer living in Wabasca. His entire criminal record is alcohol-related. Judge Paul sentenced Nanemahoo to 30 days in custody for each offense, to run concurrently, and credited him with 30 days already served. Once again, Judge Paul urged Nanermahoo to find some way to get a handle on his alcohol addiction issues.
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Also appearing by closed circuit from Edmonton Remand Centre was Jesse Walters, who pled guilty to breaching conditions of his probation, failure to comply with court conditions and theft. Released from jail on June 9, 2016 on probation for earlier misdeeds, Walters seldom even reported to his parole officer, and was usually not at home when curfew checks were made on him. On October 23, 2016 Walters was, if this reporter understood correctly, arrested for a theft of electronics from Canadian Tire, at which time the penalties for his generally ignoring the conditions of his probation came into play. In any case, Judge Paul sentenced Walters to serve the remainder of the probation, 19 days, in custody, of which all 19 are deemed to have been served. For failure to comply with court conditions, Paul sentenced him to 14 days, of which eight days remain to be served. And for the theft, 14 days, of which all 14 remain to be served.
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Appearing by closed circuit from E.R.C. Kyle Willier pled guilty to property mischief, theft and failing to appear at a court proceeding. Late in January, 2017 Willier and his girlfriend found themselves homeless and moved in with a good friend of the girlfriend. Within two days the situation had deteriorated and Willier and the girlfriend were asked to leave. On January 23 the couple went to the residence to remove some of their stuff where they were denied entry because the homeowner refused to answer the door. Willier became frustrated and kicked in the door but was still denied entry and threatened with a call to the police.
Later that evening Willier was drinking at a friend’s place. He decided to go to the yard of a former employer who he knew had the habit of leaving the keys in a pickup on the premises and took the truck without permission. He drove it through a closed gate and eventually abandoned it in a random driveway. Unfortunately for Willier, he left a backpack containing personal documents in the truck and was easily identified.
When the break-and-enter and theft cases came to trial on May 3 Willier was absent, later claiming that he was at the funeral of an aunt.
Judge Paul noted that Willier has piled up a record of theft and mischief convictions recently. His failure to appear in court when there was a trial with witnesses there was in Paul’s mind a definite escalation, given that Willier didn’t even bother to inform his lawyer that he was attending a funeral. And despite Willier’s suggestions to the contrary, the homeowner who was the victim of the mischief was under no obligation to open the door to Willier under any circumstances.
Judge Paul sentenced Willier to 60 days for the mischief charge, for which he was given 28 days credit for time served. For the theft he was sentenced to 30 days, with 14 days credit, and for the failure to appear he was sentenced to 45 days, to be served consecutively to the others. He was credited with 21 days and left with 62 days total still to be served.
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Brian Nadeau pled guilty to impaired operation of a vehicle, stemming from and incident on December 2, 2016 where officers observed a car driven by Nadeau roll through a red light on Main Street. Upon stopping the car, they quickly determined that the driver Nadeau was intoxicated. Nadeau was given the standard $1,000 fine, a year’s driving prohibition and eligibility after three months for an Interlock device.