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Hearing delayed in murder case

Daniel Campbell
Northern News Services
Published Friday, January 17, 2014

Lawyers were supposed to schedule a preliminary hearing for David Richard Harrison on Tuesday, but the matter was adjourned after a brief appearance.

It's alleged Harrison, 28, killed 63-year-old Yvonne Desjarlais and left her body in a downtown alleyway on Dec. 30, 2012.

Peter Harte, appearing as defence counsel for Harrison, told the court he needed more time to determine if a preliminary hearing was necessary. Harte appeared on behalf of Harrison's lawyer, Caroline Wawzonek.

Prosecutor Marc Lecorre emphasized the Crown was ready to proceed with the preliminary hearing.

Deputy judge Allan Lefever adjourned the matter until Feb. 4.

At least half a dozen onlookers came to the court on Tuesday to witness Harrison, who appeared via video.

Security was beefed up in the courthouse before Harrison's matter was dealt with. Sheriffs set up a metal detector and searched the belongings of those attending court that day - an abnormal procedure for the Yellowknife courthouse. In an e-mail, Anne Mould, director for court services, stated they were trying to "ensure the safety and security of those involved in the court proceedings." The metal detectors will continue to be set up for Harrison's future appearances, she added.

Man sentenced for Aurora College break-in

A 31-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days in jail for breaking into Aurora College and stealing a case of soda.

Tyler Alfred Deakin walked in through the front doors of Aurora College around 1 a.m. on Nov. 13, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Crown prosecutor Marc Lecorre said the front doors are usually locked, but were left open that night. Once inside, Deakin broke into a convenience stand and grabbed a 12-pack of soda. Campus security chased him off and notified the RCMP.

Deakin was arrested shortly afterwards in his home, wearing the same clothing as seen in the security footage and showing signs of drunkenness.

Deputy judge Allan Lefever scolded the man - who has prior convictions for breaking and entering - and told him he needs to control his drinking.

"You're an alcoholic," Lefever said as Deakin stood before him.

"If you don't deal with the booze, you will be back here, sure as night follows day."

Lefever allowed Deakin to serve his jail sentence on weekends so he can work at his full-time job during the week.

Deakin was sentenced to one year of probation as well, during which Lefever ordered him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings once per week.

Delays in gang bust case

One of the 11 arrested in a RCMP drug raid in December is ready to go to trial, according to his lawyer, but is being delayed by the Crown.

Twenty-nine-year-old Matthew Jager of Calgary, Alta., is charged with two counts of possession of stolen property and one count of marijuana possession. RCMP raided several apartment buildings throughout Yellowknife in the early morning hours of Dec. 6. They allege those who were arrested are connected to the '856' gang, based out of lower-mainland B.C.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Bond asked the court for an adjournment of Jager's case, because she needs more time to go through evidence provided to her by RCMP, she said.

Bond alluded the Crown may be laying more charges involving organized crime. She said they were not ready to set a trial date yet.

Peter Harte, Jager's defence lawyer, said he would be ready to proceed to trial on the charges immediately, even without the RCMP's evidence.

"This sounds like a continuing investigation rather than disclosure," Harte told the court.

Jager, sporting a beard, shaved head and black shirt, sat silently in the prisoner's box during his appearance.

Harte argued a person arrested on Dec. 6 should be able to set a trial date after a month in custody.

Deputy judge Allan Lefever agreed Jager should go to trial as soon as possible, but noted there are many "less-complicated" cases in territorial court taking longer to go to trial.

He adjourned Jager's next appearance to Feb. 11.

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