The man charged in a bold carjacking and police search last month has pleaded guilty to a pair of counts in a separate incident.
Michael Richter appeared Dec. 1 in Ponoka Provincial Court via Closed Circuit Television from the Red Deer Remand Centre and entered guilty pleas on one count each of making harassing phone calls and breach of probation.
In an Agreed Statement of Facts, Richter admitted to calling and texting a woman several times over the course of a month back in June, even after being told on each occasion to stop contacting her. Richter at the time was under a probation order, which included not contacting the woman.
The breach charge stemmed from Richter being under that same 18-month probation order that was placed on him last December, failing to report to his probation officer for several months this past summer.
Richter was given a chance to speak to the court and stated, “I meant no harm in trying to contact her. I was just simply trying to say goodbye. I didn’t mean to cause any trouble and I apologize for that.”
Defence lawyer David Paull added the calls and texts were all about Richter not taking the break-up of the relationship too well.
“As for not reporting, it’s always difficult dealing with turmoil and when changes in living conditions tend to see life get muddled. And, he still has about five months left on his original probation so there is still time to get back on track,” he told the court.
In handing down a sentence, Judge B.D. Rosborough took into account the Crown and defence submissions, pretty much splitting the difference in giving Richter a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail — which when credited for the 20 days he’s spent in remand winds up being time served.
“It’s unfortunate that you have not taken advantage of the opportunities given to you in the probation order,” said Rosborough addressing Richter directly.
“As it stands then and I agree here with Mr. Paull, it’s not likely a further probation order would have any affect. I also agree as well with Mr. Paull in that a 30-day jail term is appropriate.”
Richter, who remains in custody, faces charges stemming from the Nov. 6 alleged carjacking and that caused Ponoka RCMP to close county roads east of Ponoka while searching for him.
He has been charged with robbery, possession of property over $5,000, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of firearm in a vehicle, mischief damage under $5,000 and disobeying a court order. His next appearance on those counts is tomorrow (Dec. 7) in Red Deer Provincial Court, where he will also appear on one count of possession of a controlled substance from a separate incident.
It’s been alleged Richter stole a vehicle, then got into a collision near Blackfalds where he forcefully took a pickup truck. He then allegedly drove north to Ponoka and was the subject of a police search and manhunt near Rosas Road after abandoning the truck and driving away on a snowmobile.