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Crime In Brief

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Homicide case back on

MANITOBA'S highest court has taken the rare step of reinstating a homicide case that had previously been thrown out of court.

Justin Parker, 25, was charged in the March 2011 stabbing death of 16-year-old Fletcher McDougall in Thompson. But he was cleared of manslaughter following a preliminary hearing last year after the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence linking him to the crime.

The Crown had a different view of the case and filed an appeal. And in a decision released this week, Appeal Court Justice Michel Monnin ordered Parker to stand trial for manslaughter.

Monnin ruled the preliminary hearing judge "acted in excess of his assigned jurisdiction" in making findings about the case he shouldn't have.

A court-ordered ban on the preliminary hearing prevents certain specific details from being published.

A co-accused, Pierre Bessette-Forcier, 25, has already been ordered to stand trial on the more serious charge of second-degree murder. He was the person who allegedly inflicted the fatal injury.

As well, a third accused, Jody Whiteway, 22, had his charges stayed by the Crown in exchange for agreeing to provide evidence.

McDougall was attacked outside an apartment building in Thompson. He had allegedly been trying to break into some parked vehicles when he was confronted by three men armed with a knife and pepper spray.

Parker is not expected to stand trial until the spring 2015.

 

Man's charges tossed

MANITOBA justice officials have dropped all charges against a Beausejour man accused of a serious crime.

Justin Randy William Rielly-Ducharme, 24, was the subject of a 2011 RCMP public alert after he couldn't be located by investigators. Police said at the time he was wanted for sexual assault, sexual interference and forcible confinement but released no other details about the alleged incident.

Rielly-Ducharme was eventually arrested and released on bail in June 2012.

Court documents show the Crown has stayed all offences without explanation. Family members told the Free Press the alleged victim -- a female youth -- made bogus claims against Rielly-Ducharme that have been proven false.

They wanted news of him being cleared published, saying damage has been done to his reputation by the charges and subsequent public release by police.

 

Man probed in B.C. death

A Manitoba man is being investigated in the death of a woman in northeastern B.C.

The 64-year-old man was taken to hospital for treatment of injuries after the RCMP found the body of a 60-year-old woman Tuesday in a home in Fort St. John.

Mounties say officers cordoned off the home after word about someone with a gun.

Names have not been released, but police say the two knew each other and the woman's death was not the result of a random act.

Police arrived at the home after a report of a man with a gun, reported to Northeast News. The paper reports police surrounded the house and positioned a sniper. Residents were kept away from the scene.

Officers found the dead Fort St. John woman and an injured man from Manitoba, the paper reported.

 

Robber seizes car

WINNIPEG police are looking for a man following a strong-arm vehicle theft in the St. James area Monday.

The incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. when officers responded to a department store in the 1000 block of Empress Street. A man was in the parking lot, armed with a knife.

The man had fled from retail security guards in the area to a nearby parking lot in the 1300 block of Empress. When the security guards caught up with him, the suspect threatened them with the knife.

The suspect then jumped into a passing truck, assaulting the 56-year-old female driver before she managed to escape the vehicle. The man drove the truck towards the group, forcing them to back away, before stopping to grab a duffle bag. He fled the scene and the woman suffered minor injuries.

Police recovered the truck approximately five hours later in the 600 block of Sargent Avenue.

An arrest warrant has been posted for Jason Dean Bercier, 35.

Anyone with information can contact police at (204) 986-2877 or Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-TIPS (8477).

 

-- staff / The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 14, 2014 B4

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