Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/18/2013 1:00 AM
KRISTOFER Fournier was shot in the buttocks, only to have his credibility come under fire in a high-profile criminal trial against two Winnipeg police officers.
Now Fournier is back in the news -- and back in custody -- following an incident earlier this week. Fournier was arrested Monday evening on several charges including impaired driving and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. He is being held without bail. None of the allegations has been proven and he is presumed innocent.
On the witness stand earlier this year, the 23-year-old Winnipeg man insisted he had turned his troubled life around.
"I look back and don't even recognize that person," Fournier told jurors while testifying in January. He explained how he'd obtained a full-time job, moved out of the city and found a steady relationship.
But defence lawyers dropped a bit of a bombshell when they revealed there was a warrant outstanding for Fournier for new criminal charges. Sheriff's officers took him into custody when he left the witness stand.
He was eventually released only to be rearrested this week. His new charges include several alleged breaches of his bail.
Jurors clearly questioned Fournier's credibility in finding his alleged attackers not guilty. Const. Darrel Keith Selley, 37, was facing several charges, including attempted murder, fabricating evidence, careless use of a firearm and criminal negligence. Const. Kristopher John Overwater, 31, was charged with dangerous driving, fabricating evidence and "aiding and abetting."
Fournier admitted during the trial he used to be a drug-dealing, car-stealing pain in the side of law enforcement who would stop at nothing to get away. But he swore he was an innocent victim of two rogue cops who decided to dish out some "street justice," only to get caught in the act when their bogus story fell apart.
Fournier told jurors about the 2007 incident that put the pair of officers on trial. He admitted he was behind the wheel of a stolen Yukon SUV when police began chasing him, believing he may have been involved in a nearby armed robbery of a 7-Eleven store. He doesn't dispute driving at excessive speeds through residential neighbourhoods while high on meth and carrying cocaine in his pocket.
But Fournier insists he did nothing more than run away on foot after his vehicle spun out at an intersection. Moments later, he was ducking bullets as somebody yelled, "Shoot him, (expletive) shoot him." The first three shots missed but the fourth hit him in the buttocks.
The Crown alleged Overwater was driving and ignored orders from his commanding officers to abort the chase. They claimed Overwater lied about his speed and road conditions during the pursuit. They said Selley fired his weapon while running after Fournier, and Overwater then allegedly placed his own gun next to the wounded, handcuffed Fournier, telling other officers the suspect had made a grab for it.
The jury clearly disagreed. No appeal of the verdict was ever filed.
Fournier's arrest this week was without incident, a police spokesperson told the Free Press.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 B1
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