L-R: Ashley Shewchuk and James Miller-Laney

L-R: Ashley Shewchuk and James Miller-Laney

Court proceedings continue for alleged kidnappers

The second court appearance on Friday Jan. 2 for the seven accused of kidnapping a Ponoka man

The second court appearance on Friday Jan. 2 for the seven accused of kidnapping a Ponoka man on Dec. 17, 2014, over an alleged drug debt served as little more than a setup for further proceedings and the announcement of a new charge for some of the accused.

The group’s third appearance is set for Friday, Jan. 16, when they will make a trial election or plea.

Tyler Scott (21) of Red Deer appeared via closed circuit television (CCTV) from the Edmonton Remand Centre. An additional charge of unlawful possession of property not exceeding $5,000 was added to the original charges.

The initial joint charges are: break, enter and commit robbery using a firearm, assault with the intent to steal while armed with an offensive weapon, use a firearm during kidnapping, carry imitation of a weapon, utter threats to kill, unlawful confinement.

The new charge stems from stolen items from the victim’s house that belonged to another resident.

Scott remains in custody and on Jan. 16, a date for a preliminary hearing could be set.

Zackary Purdy (24) of Innisfail will also be back in court on Jan. 16 via CCTV. He faces the same additional charge as Scott.

Defense counsel requested a six-week gap before Shane Kerik (42) of Lacombe re-appears in court. However, Judge B. Rosborough denied the request in order to keep the group’s proceedings together. Kerik does not face an additional charge.

Ashley Shewchuk (28) of Ponoka appeared on CCTV from the Red Deer Remand Centre. On Dec. 19, she was granted release at $1,000 cash bail; the amount remains the same and Crown Prosecutor R. Clark was unwilling to reopen bail.

Shewchuk faces the new charge as well, as does Lane Dickson (19) of Red Deer.

James Miller-Laney (28) of Ponoka will also be back in court on Jan. 16 without an added charge.

Christine Kirkeby (29) of Red Deer was one of the two accused who appeared in person. She, too, faces the additional charge.