A Crown prosecutor has requested a five-year prison sentence for two men who attacked an RCMP officer on a rural road in Red Deer County and stole his vehicle in 2019.
Johnathan Andrews and Chasetin Morin pleaded guilty to attempting to disarm a police officer and robbery at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer last December for their roles in the incident in the early hours of December 13, 2019.
“The circumstances of the offense itself are egregious,” Crown Attorney Davin Mitchell told Judge Gillian Marriott of the Court of King’s Bench in Red Deer on Tuesday afternoon.
The attack also had a profound impact on the officer involved and affected both his professional and personal life, Mitchell said.
Both men have lengthy criminal records. Morin has more than 40 convictions, including two for assaulting peace officers, as well as convictions for firearms, fleeing police, dangerous driving, miscellaneous thefts and more than two dozen for breaching court orders. . Andrews, 30, has about 50 adult convictions, including weapons, drugs and driving offenses, as well as more than 30 offences.
Mitchell said the judge should take into account that the officer was working alone at night in a remote area when she was attacked by three men. The officer testified in court last December that she feared she would die in the attack, he said.
RCMP Officer Const. Lottie Bell testified that she had stopped to help three men, whose vehicle was stuck, when she was violently thrown to the ground by Andrews. He and Morin then climbed on top of the five-foot-two, 130-pound officer and tried to pull his gun out of its holster.
Unable to obtain his weapon, the three fled and stole his police vehicle, which was parked nearby on Range Road 10 near the Burnt Lake Trail, about 10 km west of Red Deer.
Bell shot Morin, the driver, as he drove past. Morin was untouched but Bennink suffered a calf injury. Andrews was hit in the foot, but the bullet did not penetrate his skin. A bullet hit the front windshield of his vehicle as he drove away.
The police vehicle pulled off the road shortly after and the three men were found by a police dog and arrested nearby.
Bennink pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and stealing in November 2021 and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Maurice Collard, Morin’s defense attorney, said two years was a “fit and proper sentence” for his client, noting he pleaded guilty and is remorseful.
Morin had a traumatic childhood, left home at 16 and struggled with addictions for most of his life. All of his problems can be attributed to his drug addiction.
“When he’s sober, he has a heart of gold,” said Collard, who said his client sought treatment for his issues, including a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder.
Andrews’ attorney, Lonnie Allen, was seeking a similar sentence for his client.
Allen said that although Andrews’ record is long, his offenses were not violent and that he enrolled in life-changing treatment programs, including paying out of pocket for an additional six months of treatment .
He is deeply remorseful for his role in the attack on the officer, which was not a premeditated plan.
“It was a dynamic situation that played out on the side of the road,” Allen said.
Allen requested that Andrews be credited with approximately 882 days in custody using a formula considering 372 days in custody and 649 days released with strict conditions.
The judge will announce her sentence on October 3.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter