Truck thief gets jail sentence

Truck thief receives jail sentence after court appearance July 17.

By David Thielen

Heather Joan Renshaw, appearing by CCTV at the Ponoka provincial court on Friday, July 17, was sentenced to three months plus seven days in custody after pleading guilty to possession of stolen property, to two counts of failing to comply with an undertaking, with the judge giving her 23 days credit for her pre-trial custody.

The crown prosecutor told the court that on July 3, just off of Range Road 240, a male approached a farmer and saying that they had got stuck and asking if he could give them a tow. The farmer refused, and then Heather Joan Renshaw approached the same farmer with the same request, which he again refused.  The farmer felt that there was something suspicious about the pair, so he called the police. The police, with the assistance of the RCMP dog handler located the two hiding in the bush about one kilometer from the truck and a third person who they had been in contact with via text messaging driving around looking for them.

It was determined that the $85,000 truck that they had gotten stuck with had been stolen.

In asking for a sentence of four months in jail, the crown prosecutor said that at the time of the offence, Renshaw was under a recognizance to remain at her primary residence, and not to be in a vehicle unless the registered owner was present. He pointed out that Renshaw was on bail for a similar offense.

Trying to help out Renshaw  got Amanda Rae Schmitz a 30-day sentence, one-year probation and a $300 victim surcharge. Schmitz had been texted by her friends that they had gotten a truck stuck, asking her to come and get them. The crown prosecutor said that when Schmitz was stopped, text messages on the phone showed that they had told her to watch out for the police.

Schmitz, who appeared via CCTV, when asked if she had anything to say, said she is seriously reconsidering her friends, because friends would not put someone in this situation.

No charges were brought against the third individual involved in the incident during Friday’s hearing.

Counsel withdraws but enters not guilty plea

In another driving offense case, court granted defense counsel’s application to withdraw as the counsel of record for Steeve Toupin, and then to enter a not guilty plea on his behalf as an agent. A trial date of October 14 at 10:30 a.m. was set to deal with the criminal code charges of refusing to blow, and dangerous driving. Two additional charges under the traffic safety act, exceeding maximum speed, and fail to produce financial responsibility card, will be dealt with at the same trial.

Drinking leads to triple jail sentence

Cecilia Redcrow, is back in jail after breaching what the crown prosecutor described as a carefully worded condition that took into account her drinking problem. “She was allowed to be drunk inside her house, but she wasn’t allowed to be drunk in public.” Crown asked for a sentence of 30-45 days.

Appearing by CCTV, “I know I have a drinking problem, and am willing to go to treatment,” Redcrow said.

Redcrow was sentenced to 36 days on each of three counts, plus victim surcharges, the sentences will be served concurrently.

Jail and suspension license for repeat offender

Michael Patrick Brunet, was sentenced to 30 days in intermittent custody at the Calgary Remand Centre and had his driver’s license suspended for 18 months after pleading guilty to impaired driving charges. He also pleaded guilty to a fail to appear charge, and sentenced to a consecutive seven-day term.

The crown told the court that RCMP had received a report of a driver swerving all over the road on July 22, last year. An officer attended and found Brunet asleep in his car parked at a rest stop. The officer issued a couple of demands for a breath sample, and after arresting Brunet conducted a search of his vehicle where he found a cooler, and inside the cooler he found a thermos, and inside the thermos he found six grams of marijuana.

In speaking to sentence, the crown prosecutor stated that Brunet had a record of five previous similar offences, but that they were rather old.