August 25th, 2019

Mercer, Betts denied bail on charges

By Shurtz, Delon on May 16, 2019.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

A Lethbridge judge has refused to release from custody a man and woman facing charges in relation to a police chase last month.

The accused, Jason James Mercer of Coaldale and Aedan Tanya Betts of Lethbridge, had hoped to be released following their bail hearing Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court. They were both remanded, however, and told they would remain in custody pending the disposition of their charges or a bail review in Court of Queen’s Bench.

Mercer, who appeared in court by closed-circuit TV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, and Betts, who was in custody at the courthouse and appeared in person, are charged with dangerous driving, flight from police, assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, obstructing a peace officer, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, mischief under $5,000 and assault with a weapon.

Police previously reported that at about 1:15 p.m. April 25 they were looking for a grey 2013 Ford F150 truck that had been stolen from a westside residence. Later in the evening they saw the vehicle and attempted to stop it, but the female driver sped away.

At about 7:30 p.m. the next day police saw the truck parked in an alley behind Sheridan Road West. The same woman and a man were inside. Police parked behind the truck and an officer ordered the occupants out of the truck, but the suspect vehicle reversed toward the officer, who had to move out of the way to avoid being hit.

The officer fired his sock gun but the truck continued driving backward, striking the police vehicle and pushing it out of the way before hitting two fences and a tree. The officer, who was not injured, fired his sock gun again but the vehicle sped toward Simon Fraser Boulevard West.

At 8:40 p.m. RCMP received reports of a vehicle matching the truck’s description driving erratically on Highway 25. Less than an hour later RCMP received a report that a vehicle had been abandoned in Coaldale, and Lethbridge police seized the truck. Police were able to identify the suspects and just after midnight RCMP traced them to a home in Coaldale where they were arrested.

Mercer, 20, and Betts, 18, are scheduled to be back in court next Thursday.

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