July 24th, 2024

Lawyer still trying to set trial dates

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 14, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man who pleaded not guilty last month to numerous criminal offences, is still waiting to schedule trial dates, a judge was told Wednesday.
During a brief hearing in Lethbridge court of justice, Calgary lawyer James McLeod said his attempts to reach the trial co-ordinator at the courthouse have been unsuccessful and he requires more time to make contact.
The case against Danial Mark Ferguson has been adjourned several times since he entered pleas last month, and his lawyer was granted another adjournment Wednesday until Dec. 21 to allow more time to arrange a pre-trial conference, during which trial dates could be set.
On Nov. 27 Ferguson pleaded not guilty to charges of resisting a peace officer, causing a disturbance by screaming, uttering threats to cause death and failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking. The matters were adjourned for two days to schedule dates for two trials, and Ferguson pleaded not guilty to additional charges of pointing a firearm, discharging a firearm with intent, mischief causing damage, possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose, dangerous driving, failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking, and assault.
It’s the latter set of charges for which defence is attempting to schedule trial dates.
The charges relate to incidents on May 26 when RCMP responded to a report of a shooting at a home in Coaldale. When police arrived the alleged shooter had already left, and was reportedly driving toward Lethbridge on Highway 3. Police said he also shot at a motorist.
The suspect was stopped at the intersection of Highway 3 and 43 Street in Lethbridge, and arrested by RCMP and Lethbridge police.
“A pistol was located in the vehicle and was determined to be a Winchester BB gun replica of a 1911 pistol,” officials said in a news release.
During a September court hearing, Ferguson was deemed fit to stand trial following a forensic assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary.
At court hearings earlier in the year, Ferguson said he was crazy and needed to have a psychiatric evaluation. Section 672 of the Criminal Code allows the court to order an assessment of the mental condition of an accused, if there are reasonable grounds to believe it’s necessary to determine whether the accused is unfit to stand trial.
Ferguson had initially asked for the assessment on June 16, but the judge denied his request in absence of substantial evidence. The matter was adjourned, but a few days later another judge granted the assessment.

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