July 21st, 2018

Court Briefs: Red Deer man gets 15 months for evading police in August

By Peggy Revell on January 13, 2018.


A 36-year-old man from Red Deer was sentenced to 15 months in jail for an incident in August where he was arrested in a stolen truck after attempting to evade police.

Christopher Hayward appeared Thursday before the Medicine Hat Court by closed-circuit TV, entering guilty pleas to numerous charges stemming from the Aug. 31 incident.

According to the agreed statement of facts, just after midnight police observed a truck reported stolen out of Stettler.

The driver of the truck refused to pull over for police, and drove off at a high rate of speed. This evasion included driving on the wrong side of the road on Third Street NE, through stop signs, and going backward down a street in an attempt to turn into and hide in an alleyway.

The man abandoned the vehicle and ran into a nearby house, asking to be hidden. He was apprehended in the residence’s backyard.

Police found several boxes in the vehicle, including ammunition — the accused had a lifetime firearms prohibition — and a gas card not in his name.

Hayward has been in custody since the incident, and was granted 201 days credit towards his sentence.

Plea withdrawal

A hearing date of Jan. 30 has been set for a man wanting to have guilty pleas for serious drug trafficking charges set aside.

At a brief appearance Thursday, counsel for Aaron Grant Hotchen, 52, set down the date after finding the earliest available for Crown, defence, the seized judge and Hotchen’s former lawyer.

Hotchen entered guilty pleas in September to multiple serious drug trafficking charges. At the time this plea was entered, the agreed statement of facts had been read over and signed by Hotchen, although they weren’t officially read into court and accepted by the judge.

Later that year, defence counsel came off the record, with new counsel looking to have the guilty pleas set aside.

Doctor sexual assault charge

The case of a Medicine Hat doctor charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a person with a disability had a brief court appearance Thursday, with defence counsel requesting an adjournment to Jan. 30.

Pleas haven’t been entered yet on the charges, but there are discussions about a trial date the court heard, and also possibly a change of defence counsel.

The charges against the doctor come from an alleged incident in June 2017, when an adult male patient attended a walk-in medical appointment and was sexually assaulted.

Police announced charges against Dr. Ian Gebhardt, 55, who practised at the Crescent Heights Family Medical Clinic, but has since withdrawn from practice.

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