Judge orders peremptory election for seven in kidnapping case

Seven individuals accused of kidnapping a Ponoka man over an alleged drug debt made a brief appearance

Seven individuals accused of kidnapping a Ponoka man over an alleged drug debt made a brief appearance in Ponoka provincial court on Friday, Jan. 16.

With some released, others in custody in various stages of addressing bail and several still without legal counsel, all seven matters were adjourned until Friday, Jan. 30, where election will be peremptory; as ordered by Judge W. Andreassen.

The seven, Christine Kirkeby (29) of Red Deer, Shane Kerik (42) of Lacombe County, Tyler Scott (21) of Red Deer, Lane Dickson (19) of  Red Deer, Ashley Shewchuk (28) of  Ponoka, Zackary Purdy (24) of Innisfail and James Miller-Laney(28) of Ponoka are facing joints charges of 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 and unlawful confinement.

Scott, Purdy, Shewchuk, Dickson and Kirkeby were also charged with unlawful possession of stolen property not exceeding $5,000 after the group’s first court appearance on Dec. 19, 2014.

On Jan. 16, Purdy appeared via closed circuit television (CCTV). He had not yet received full disclosure and bail had not yet been spoken to; it will be addressed at his next court appearance.

Dickson’s cash bail has been set at $2,000, if it is not deposited by Jan. 30, he will appear by CCTV. Upon his release, a recognizance orders that he adhere to a nightly curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., have no contact with any of the other co-accused or complainant, live in an approved residence, consume no drugs or alcohol, actively seek school or steady employment, report weekly to the Red Deer RCMP, not possess weapons or anything that could be used as a weapon.

Scott’s bail was set at $1,500 and he must follow the same orders as Dickson, with the exception of an approved residence or his father’s house.

Keric, Miller-Laney and Kirkeby are waiting on legal aid.