Kidnappers set for November preliminary hearing

A preliminary hearing in the case of seven co-accused, charged with kidnapping a Ponoka man on Dec. 17, 2014

A preliminary hearing in the case of seven co-accused,  charged with kidnapping a Ponoka man on Dec. 17, 2014  will start on Nov. 23, 2015 at the Ponoka provincial court with a judge and jury present in what is expected to be a two-day session.

In a brief  court appearance on Friday, Feb. 27, the group asked to be tried by a judge only, but no decision was made to accommodate their wish.

As of Friday, two of the seven — Lane Dickson and Zachary Purdy — remained in custody. Dickson has a cash bail set at $2,000 and Purdy has been denied bail.

Purdy, Shane Kerik, Tyler Scott, Dickson, James Miller-Laney and Ashley Shewchuk’s charges include: breaking and entering, robbery using a firearm, unlawful kidnapping using a firearm with the intent to hold, unlawfully carrying an imitation of a weapon with the intent to commit an offense (paintball gun), uttering threats of death and bodily harm, possessing a weapon (sword) dangerous to the public peace with the intent to commit an offense and and, possessing a weapon (machete) dangerous to the public peace with the intent to commit an offense.

Purdy alone is charged with unlawful operation of a motor vehicle while disqualified.

Christine Kirkeby, along with Purdy, Kerik, Scott and Dickson are also charged with possession of property not exceeding $5,000, knowing it was unlawfully obtained.

Almost decade-long disqualified driver caught

A man was sentenced to a one-year driving prohibition and a $1,500 fine after pleading guilty to driving when disqualified, for almost a decade.

On Dec. 6, 2014 a member of Ponoka RCMP stopped at 50th Avenue and 51st Street when they noticed a vehicle parked near a bank facing the wrong way. When the vehicle pulled out and the driver saw the police cruiser, he became quite startled. Police suspected impaired driving and told the driver to pull over.

The driver, Joshua Desjarlais, 36, exited the vehicle and popped the hood, claiming mechanical difficulties. At that point, the female passenger in the car got behind the wheel. It was discovered Desjarlais was on a driving prohibition since July 2 of last year.

Desjarlais, at the time of the incident, was also without a license due to failing to properly acquire his license from a November, 2006 incident and he has not had a proper license since then.