Man pleads guilty before start of trial

Rocky Mountain House man pleads guilty to mischief in Ponoka provincial court.

  • Oct. 28, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Rather than face trial, a 28-year-old Rocky Mountain House man pled guilty to charges of mischief, breach of conditions and failing to remain in a residence during curfew at the provincial court Friday, Oct. 23.

Travis Sunchild was set to go to trial with defense counsel Craig Patterson defending his case; however, at the last minute he opted to plead guilty to the charges. Patterson and crown prosecutor Steve Degen provided a joint submission to the judge with a recommended punishment for the charges.

Degen explained to Judge Jim Mitchell that a complaint was made by a woman who said Sunchild and his brother tried to break into her home June 12 this summer. The woman made the call the day after the incident telling police that her three children were at home at the time, explained Degen.

Sunchild and his brother, who is the woman’s ex-boyfriend, almost kicked the door off of its hinges before her 18-year-old son yelled at the men to leave. Degen said the purpose for attending the home appears to be that Sunchild’s brother was jealous of the woman’s new boyfriend and the two were going to beat up the man, however, they could not find him.

“Who knows what they would have done if they would have found him,” offered Degen.

Police did speak with Sunchild some time later and he has been remanded in custody since July 1. Degen recommended 160 days of time served with time and a half credit for Sunchild, which released him from custody.

Patterson explained to Mitchell that Sunchild has a Grade 11 education and has five children. The decision to support his brother in finding the boyfriend was unconscionable, offered Patterson, who added that Sunchild will be looking for work right away. “He is set to move to Calgary where I believe his nephew is set up to find him a job.”

He added that he feels the punishment is appropriate for the events that occurred. Mitchell was clear in his judgment and challenged Sunchild to change his life around.

“You’ve been down this road for 10 years,” stated Mitchell.

He said that while Sunchild wanted to support his brother, those actions most likely instilled great fear in the woman at her home and added the guilty plea was a step in the right direction. “If you don’t change your attitude Travis, you’re bound for the penitentiary,” stated Mitchell.

The judge agreed with the charges and also ordered Sunchild to pay a victim fine surcharge of $200.