BONNYVILLE – A preliminary inquiry has been set for the trial of Laine Solway-Martial, one of three people accused in relation to an alleged attempted carjacking that took place on Jan. 26 in Kehewin Cree Nation.
On May 17, the acting agent of counsel for Solway-Martial provided instructions on behalf of the accused to elect a trial by Queen's bench judge and jury. Preceding this trial will be a preliminary inquiry that has been set for Nov. 29.
The preliminary inquiry is expected to take up to four hours to complete.
More than a month after the alleged attempted carjacking took place, Solway-Martial was the third and last suspect to be apprehended by RCMP on March 3, following a “high-risk traffic stop” in Cold Lake.
According to information released by RCMP, at around 5 a.m. on Jan. 26, a vehicle with two occupants stopped and offered a male pedestrian a ride.
The pedestrian reportedly accepted the offer and asked to be dropped off at a nearby residence. Upon arriving at the residence, two men allegedly approached the car with firearms and demanded the vehicle's occupants get out of the vehicle.
“The pedestrian that was picked up also produced a firearm. When the victims refused, a suspect fired a shot into the air at which point the victims got out of the car,” stated a Bonnyville RCMP media release from Jan. 27.
After the reported interaction took place, the suspects allegedly fled the scene in a pickup truck but did not take the victim's vehicle.
The suspect pickup truck was later located by police.
In relation to the January incidents, Solway-Martial, 23, and Joshua Lawrence Desjarlais, 32, are both facing charges of assault, careless use of a firearm, pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, using a firearm in commission of an offence, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and uttering threats.
Solway-Martial faces further charges of robbery with a restricted/prohibited firearm.
Following his arrest on March 3, Solway-Martial was charged with flight from police (x2), dangerous operation of a motor vehicle (x2), possession of stolen property under $5,000 (x2), possession of stolen property over $5,000, failing to comply with release order condition (x7), and weapons possession contrary to an order (x3).
He also faces charges under the Traffic Safety Act, which includes driving an uninsured motor vehicle on a highway (x2) and displaying an unauthorized licence plate on a motor vehicle.
In relation to the January incident, Desjarlais was charged with robbery with a firearm, discharging a firearm with intent (x2) and one additional criminal charge that was not identified by police.
On May 17, the acting agent of counsel for Desjarlais successfully asked for his legal matters to be held over until June 7 at the Bonnyville Provincial Court to allow for his lawyer to receive and review additional disclosure documents.
Desjarlais’ acting agent also indicated that an early case resolution offer from the Crown prosecutor’s office will also need to be discussed between the accused and his lawyer to see how the matter will proceed.
A youth, whose identity cannot be released under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was also arrested in connection to the alleged carjacking attempt.
The youth’s court proceedings are protected by a publication ban under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.