Preliminary hearing set for group kidnappers

In their fifth appearance in court on Friday Feb. 13, the second time the group was slated to provide plea and election

In their fifth appearance in court on Friday Feb. 13, the second time the group was slated to provide plea and election, the proceedings of the seven co-accused in the late-2014 kidnapping have been adjourned until Friday Feb. 27.

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.

An arrest warrant was released for Kirkeby, who still has no legal representation and has missed two consecutive court appearances since he was released on bail.

Miller-Laney is also without council. A warrant to hold was issued for Feb. 27, as he missed the Friday, Feb. 13 date due to transportation issues.

A preliminary hearing on the case has been set for Nov. 23 and 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Man threatens officers’ lives, sentenced

After threatening RCMP officers’ lives and refusing to provide a breath sample, a Red Deer man has been sentence to a $100 fine and 31 days in jail.

On Dec. 5, 2024 Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit received a complaint of two vehicles stopped at a Highway 2 intersection near Blackfalds. Allegedly, the drivers were yelling at each other.

Awai Deng, 43, was found outside of one of the cars, parked along the edge of the highway.

When officers arrived at the scene, he was on his cell phone, apparently looking for a signal. Deng then got back into the vehicle and attempted to close its door several time, but one of the members got a hold of it.

Once Deng noticed the constable he kept repeating, “you no beat me.”

Deng has been a Canadian citizen since 2002 but originally hails from South Sudan, he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the time of the incident, officers could smell alcohol on Deng’s breath. When he was put into the cruiser, he became angry and said he would kill the officers.

At the Ponoka detachment, Deng refused to follow the directions to provide a breath sample.

Judge W. Andreassen is allowing Deng to serve his 31 days intermittently to accommodate doctor appointments and a surgery schedule needed to treat a serious and prolonged back injury.

Uninsured driver sentenced

A Calgary man faces jail time after being sentenced in Ponoka provincial court on Feb. 13.

Nicholas Delorenzo, 36, was stopped by a Ponoka sheriff on Dec. 14, 2014 for suspected impaired driving due to drugs.

He was released but the next day it was discovered the plate on the vehicle he was driving had been stolen from Calgary. He knew it was stolen at the time of the incident.

Delorenzo also did not have insurance on the vehicle he was driving.

After pleading guilty to driving without insurance and possession of stolen property, he was handed fines of $2,875 and $2,000, respectively.

However, he requested to serve his penalty in custody, 45 days for driving without insurance and four for possessing the stolen license plate.

Cocaine, baton seized

A man found with cocaine on his body and in his vehicle was sentenced to time in custody and fines after pleading guilty.

On June 28, 2014 Ponoka RCMP received a complaint of a suspected impaired driver on Highway 2.

Members found the vehicle and the driver, Cory Neitz, 40, at the Ponoka McDonalds parking lot.

Police believed there were drugs in the vehicle and Neitz was arrested. A search of his person and vehicle resulted in the discovery of approximately four grams of cocaine.

A collapsible baton—a prohibited weapon—was also seized from the vehicle.

He has a prior criminal record but no previous drug charges.

Judge W. Andreassen ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and 30 days in custody.

“Suspicious” male found with stolen car

A man who pled guilty to failing to appear and possession of property obtained by crime was sentenced to 60 days in custody and $300 in fines.

On Dec. 12. 2014, police received a call of a suspicious male on a rural property near Lacombe.

The accused, Brandon Orlesky, had asked the landowner for gas, which the person refused.

The landowner then followed the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Orlesky was driving and wrote down the licence plate number.

The vehicle was found to be stolen and Orlesky was arrested.

He has already served 35 days in jail and taken at time and a half, has been credited with 52 days served out of the 60 sentenced.