Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dad fights to keep $100,000

Crown declared default on surety posted for son's bail

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The stage is set for an unprecedented legal battle over $100,000 that could have a major effect on future bail proceedings in Manitoba.

Justice officials are seeking to cash in on a Winnipeg father who banked on his son's prospects of staying out of trouble, only to have that faith blow up in his face.

Dennis Tymchyshyn posted a $100,000 surety in 2011 to help convince a judge to allow his son, Corey Tymchyshyn, to be released from custody while awaiting trial for first-degree murder.

A surety is a form of financial promise to the court to keep the accused in line. Any breaches, and the Crown can declare a default.

The Crown was opposed to the accused killer's bail, citing the fact he was charged with the most serious allegation in the Criminal Code. But the judge approved his release while also imposing one of the largest sureties in local history.

Typically, they are for a few thousand dollars and not near the six figures imposed.

'This is clear as mud as far as I'm concerned'

-- Ryan Rolston, lawyer for Tymchyshyn

Corey Tymchyshyn was rearrested more than a year later and hit with several charges, including assault, extortion and running a marijuana grow-op out of a Manitoba Avenue home.

Although he is awaiting trial on those charges, Tymchyshyn was found guilty earlier this year of the killing of Chad Davis and is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.

He has filed an appeal, claiming an unfair trial.

Davis, 22, went missing in February 2008. His body was found months later, wrapped in plastic and stuffed inside a barrel floating down the Lee River near Lac du Bonnet.

Now the Crown wants Dennis Tymchyshyn to also pay for his son's sins.

A judge has already ordered forfeiture of the $100,000, which the father is fighting.

A trial is set for Sept. 4.

Justice officials believe this case involves the largest surety to ever be fought over. The outcome will have legal eyes across the province watching closely.

If the Crown is successful, sources say it could dissuade people from posting sureties on behalf of a loved one, making it more difficult for people accused of serious crimes to get bail.

If the Crown fails, sources worry that could send a message that sureties and bail conditions aren't to be taken seriously, as the court intends.

Although the facts are not in dispute, Crown and defence lawyers have vastly different positions about the resolution.

Both are expected to file case law supporting their arguments, along with an agreed statement of facts that will "greatly narrow down the issues that the court need address," documents filed recently in Court of Queen's Bench say.

"This is clear as mud as far as I'm concerned," Dennis Tymchyshyn's lawyer, Ryan Rolston, told the Free Press Wednesday.

He said his client may testify about how he tried to keep his son in line, suggesting he did his best and didn't shirk his responsibilities or turn a blind eye.

"The steps he took will be outlined in court," said Rolston.

The Crown is expected to argue it's a straightforward issue: The father promised to forfeit the money if his son breached bail conditions, and when he did, the consequence is he loses the surety.

Frustrated by the revolving door of justice, the Crown has been growing increasingly vigilant in going after bail scofflaws and their sureties by hitting them where it really hurts -- in their bank accounts.

They want to ensure bail orders are worth far more than the paper they're written on.

Is the system for bail meaningless if the courts never collect the surety? Join the conversation in the comments below. 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 10, 2014 B3

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