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Standoff suspect pleads guilty

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 09/05) - A suicidal man at the centre of a seven-hour standoff with Yellowknife police pleaded guilty to several charges, including mischief, during a court appearance Tuesday.

Sonny Elias, 30, was arrested Oct. 26 after nine officers, the elite Emergency Response Team and several fire fighters surrounded a room at the downtown Yellowknife Inn.

Police were told the suspect had threatened to kill himself and any officers who came near, according to media reports from the time.

More than 50 hotel guests were evacuated and patrons of a nearby restaurant were told to leave their cars behind as police blocked off 49th Street.

After seven hours to talks, the suspect burst from his room pointing something at members of the Emergency Response Team.

He was tasered and taken into custody.

During an appearance in territorial court Tuesday morning, Elias pleaded guilty to mischief.

Crown attorney Loretta Colton withdrew another charge of carrying a weapon - a hockey stick.

Elias, who sat in the prisoner's box wearing a white shirt and looking alert, was facing a total of 10 charges dating back to June 18.

He pleaded guilty to two more of those - an assault and a theft - and not guilty to five others.

While he entered the pleas, formal convictions were not entered on his record.

He is scheduled to appear in court again March 1 on the remaining charges.