Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Slaying suspect was out on bail

Released just days before teen beaten

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A man charged in the beating death of a Winnipeg teen near a Pembina Highway bar Friday had only days earlier finished jail time on an assault conviction and -- despite the Crown's attempt to keep him imprisoned -- had been granted bail on another assault-related charge, the Free Press has learned.

Under bail conditions imposed by Provincial court Judge Glenn Joyal on May 26, Joel Geddes, 19, was placed on a 24-hour curfew and told he could leave his mother's home only in her company.

As well, his mother posted a $2,500 surety. The Crown opposed his release.

Geddes, of Patricia Avenue in Fort Richmond, and two 17-year-old youths who can't be named are charged in Friday's beating death of Morgan Trudeau.

Geddes' release from custody last month raises questions concerning the circumstances under which those facing charges are granted bail, and how they are supervised when bail is granted.

Court records indicate that:

Geddes was charged with assaulting another young man in April, 2002. He was granted bail.

In December of 2002, he was charged in a series of alleged drug and weapons offences. Again he got bail, and those matters are now set for trial in October.

On April 30, he was arrested and detained in custody in an alleged assault on two men at the Montcalm Motor Hotel on Pembina Highway. He was charged with assault and possessing a weapon.

On May 26, Geddes was convicted in the April 2002 assault, and on three counts of failing to comply with court orders, and was sentenced to seven days in jail and placed on one year of supervised probation (the Crown asked for a three-month jail sentence).

"I know what I've done is wrong," Geddes said at his sentencing hearing. "I've had some time to think about it. I can tell you I definitely won't try anything like that again."

The same day, he applied for bail on the Montcalm assault charges, again before Judge Joyal. The Crown opposed his release, but after a five-minute hearing, Joyal granted bail with the strict curfew condition.

Trudeau, 18, died early last Friday after he and a 19-year-old friend, Scott Fraser, were attacked while walking home from the Pembina Hotel.

Fraser declined a request to to be interviewed yesterday. He said his parents and police have told him not to comment on what happened to him and Trudeau.

Baseball bat used?

Police have not said what types of weapons were used, but court documents obtained by the Free Press yesterday allege a baseball bat was used in the attack.

Geddes and the two youths have been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon. Geddes is also charged with breaching his bail order from last month.

Police say they expect to lay further charges once the exact cause of death has been determined.

Homicide unit Staff Sgt. Jim Thiessen said yesterday investigators still don't know for sure what killed Trudeau, and are waiting for lab results to to tell them.

Thiessen said he could not comment on whether Trudeau had a pre-existing medical condition that might have contributed to his death.

Geddes is being held in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre and is scheduled to appear in court this morning. No allegations against Geddes concerning the Trudeau death have been proved, and he is considered innocent unless he is proved guilty.

Police say Trudeau and Fraser were involved in an initial verbal altercation with three males near Pembina Highway and Jubilee Avenue before the final confrontation.

Seen following Trudeau

Police say the three suspects were not at the the Pemby Draft House.

Three persons were seen following Trudeau and Fraser to Parker Avenue and Wynne Street, where the attack took place. Fraser escaped with minor injuries and got a nearby resident to call police.

Witnesses say Trudeau showed no major signs of trauma. There also appeared to be no blood at the scene.

Trudeau is survived by his parents, Randa and Dave, along with a brother and four sisters.

The former Shaftesbury High School student had a "crazy love for life and he lived it to the fullest. He was a real charmer, and with his quick wit he could always be found teasing someone," according to his obituary.

Family members described a deep love for his siblings. Trudeau also loved going to his grandparents' cottage and spent many hours fishing, skiing, skateboarding and snowboarding.

Trudeau has been cremated, but a service celebrating his life will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the First Alliance Church, 620 Oxbow Bend.

Trudeau is the third city teen to be beaten to death in less than a month.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 10, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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