July 17th, 2024

Man gets house arrest, restitution fines for vandalism involvement

By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on December 13, 2023.


The only man police connected to a vandalism spree in Medicine Hat last year has pled guilty, and been sentenced to house arrest and ordered to repay about $4,000.

Almost two dozen locations in Ross Glen and Crestwood saw garages, vehicles or Christmas lights damaged over a two-week period in January 2022.

On Tuesday, Zachery Kearney, 24, pleaded guilty as part of a joint submission between defence and Crown prosecutors on Tuesday morning at Medicine Hat Court of Justice.

He was initially charged with 22 counts of mischief and one count of theft over $5,000 in April 2022 after police identified him as one of the perpetrators after tires were slashed, windows and mirrors broken and Christmas lights damaged.

The total damage is estimated at $23,813, according to court documents.

Justice Gordon Krinke told Kearney the conditional sentence, including three months house arrest followed by three months of curfew, had kept him out of serving time in jail.

“Without it, you’d be walking through that other door, I can assure you,” said Krinke, referring to the prisoner’s dock in the courtroom.

Police determined from security footage provided from neighbours of the vandalism that Kearney was present. He was arrested an charged in April that year.

“It’s not alleged that he was the only person involved, but he was a party to everything,” said Crown prosecutor Ian Elford.

Defence attorney Lyndon Heidinger told the court the man had made some wrong choices during that time and was now working and ready to become a contributor to the community.

The restitution order totals $3,966 to five individuals who specifically requested cost of damage be repaid.

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