Crown forced to drop charges against Hells
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/12/2009 (4806 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba justice officials have dropped criminal charges against two long-time Hells Angels associates because the alleged victim of a violent attack is refusing to testify.
Sean Wolfe and Corey MacInnis were cleared of any wrongdoing Tuesday after the Crown was unable to produce its key witness.
The young man was allegedly beaten with a hammer and threatened with a gun during a December 2006 incident. He is now sitting in jail awaiting sentencing on a home invasion but refused to leave his cell to attend court Tuesday morning.
Queen’s Bench Justice Deborah McCawley authorized sheriff’s officials to carry out a forcible removal order during the noon-hour. The man was then brought to court against his will and placed in the witness box in the afternoon. He refused to be sworn in to testify or answer any questions.
The prosecutor said they had no choice but to enter a stay of proceedings
Defence lawyer Tim Killeen told court there is no evidence the accused or anyone else had threatened the witness.
“The motivation (not to testify) comes entirely from him,” said Killeen. He told court the man repeatedly changed his story and was looking for a deal on his own charges in order to secure his testimony.
“He said he wasn’t going to testify unless he could get a couple of years off his sentence. He was completely and totally unreliable in all aspects,” he said.
The Crown now wants the silent witness cited for contempt of court. McCawley said she would consider the issue overnight and return with a decision Wednesday morning.
There is precedence in Manitoba for prison sentences in the range of three to four years for key witnesses who derail legal proceedings by refusing to testify. The Crown also has the option of authorizing criminal charges such as obstructing justice on people who won’t co-operate.
MacInnis has been free on bail and walked out of court Tuesday after shaking Killeen’s hand. He was once a Hells Angels prospect but sources say he is no longer directly affiliated with the Hells Angels. Wolfe wasn’t quite as fortunate – he is in custody following last week’s massive undercover police sting targeting the Hells Angels and their puppet club, the Zig Zag Crew.
Wolfe was one of 34 people arrested following a 13-month project that relied on a gang associate turned informant, who helped police capture numerous drug and weapons deals on audio and video surveillance. Wolfe was the only full-patch Hells member to be arrested. His half-brother and half-sister were also nabbed by police.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.