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Man charged in recent slaying was free on bail, accused of assaulting bus driver

A Winnipeg man accused of killing 27-year-old Creedence Justin Beardy on Oct. 2 was free on bail after being charged with assaulting a Winnipeg Transit driver with bear spray.

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A Winnipeg man accused of killing 27-year-old Creedence Justin Beardy on Oct. 2 was free on bail after being charged with assaulting a Winnipeg Transit driver with bear spray.

Tracayne Marsden, 21, was arrested Oct. 14 and charged with second-degree murder. He remains in custody.

Beardy died at Health Sciences Centre after he was found an hour earlier lying injured and unresponsive on the ground near the intersection of Sherbrook Street and Cumberland Avenue.

Marsden was granted bail May 4 following a hearing before provincial court Judge Brian Corrin and ordered to reside at the Behavioural Health Foundation treatment centre in St. Norbert.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Creedence Justin Beardy was found lying injured and unresponsive on the ground near the intersection of Sherbrook Street and Cumberland Avenue.

Court records show he was charged with absconding from the treatment centre July 18, less than three months before the killing.

Marsden was previously granted bail last March on charges involving the alleged thefts of thousands of dollars in merchandise last fall from two city clothing stores while armed with a machete, but remained in custody for the alleged assault on the bus driver.

Marsden has a history of repeatedly breaching court orders, including those prohibiting him from possessing weapons, Crown attorney Joel Myskiw told Corrin at the May bail hearing.

“I know he is going to be proposing release to a residential treatment program, but that doesn’t matter if he isn’t going to follow it,” Myskiw said. Marsden “poses a real and present danger to members of the public.”

Court heard Marsden, in the company of two other people, allegedly boarded a city transit bus Nov. 4, 2021, didn’t pay the fare, and was walking to the back of the vehicle when the driver resumed driving, throwing Marsden off balance.

“I know he is going to be proposing release to a residential treatment program, but that doesn’t matter if he isn’t going to follow it.”–Crown attorney Joel Myskiw at bail hearing

Marsden walked back to the front and berated and insulted the driver before discharging a can of bear spray in his face and exiting the bus, Myskiw alleged.

“He’s attacking and threatening random members of the public,” he said. “This is not someone who knows Mr. Marsden — it’s someone who is simply doing their job, going about their day and getting attacked by someone for no good reason.”

Corrin said Marsden’s distinctive facial tattoos satisfied him Marsden was the same man depicted in a Winnipeg Transit security video.

Defence lawyer Brad Erratt, who did not concede Marsden was the man in the video, said his client had been homeless for two years and struggling with addictions at the time of his arrest.

“Any risk that Mr. Marsden poses to public safety is connected to struggles with drug addiction and negative peers — both are addressed by this plan (to admit him to the Behavioural Health Foundation),” Erratt said.

“Any risk that Mr. Marsden poses to public safety is connected to struggles with drug addiction and negative peers — both are addressed by this plan (to admit him to the Behavioural Health Foundation).”–Defence lawyer Brad Erratt

Corrin agreed to release Marsden to the custody of the treatment centre, noting that while it is not a locked facility, it is “well supervised” with a strong history of reporting “non-compliant individuals” to authorities.

“That being said, occasionally someone does get away from them; it’s possible to walk away and occasionally that individual re-involves in something of a criminal nature prior to being apprehended by police,” Corrin said. “The biggest risk here is if (Marsden) found access to drugs and criminally misbehaved as a result of being under the influence again.”

King’s Bench Justice Shauna McCarthy, who approved Marsden’s earlier bid for bail last March on the theft and weapons charges, urged him at the time to co-operate with treatment.

“I am giving you a chance to go into a treatment program and hopefully deal with these issues so that this isn’t the path you are on,” she said.

Marsden was set to stand trial on all his charges in the summer, but the trial dates were cancelled.

dean.pritchard@freepress.mb.ca

Dean Pritchard

Dean Pritchard
Courts reporter

Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.

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