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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    CHILLIWACK, B.C. — Two Chilliwack drug dealers were acquitted by a provincial court judge Wednesday of charges they tortured and beat a local cocaine-addicted man in September 2014. Judge Don Gardner said he was "troubled" about the contradictory evidence given by the two main witnesses to the allegations of unlawful confinement and extortion against Trevor Egilson and Jonathon Olson.

    The pair were accused of trying to extort $6,000 out of Paul Edwards; pepper-spraying his genitals; punching him in the face, breaking his orbital bone; using a propane torch on his leg; and threatening other violence. The court hear Edwards had a long-standing addiction to cocaine, and his testimony left Gardner with questions, particularly because the second supposed victim in the case, Melissa Kennedy, never admitted she was unlawfully confined or that she saw Edwards beaten. She even testified that Egilson and Olson were "gentlemen" during the prolonged incident.

    The Crown's theory was that Edwards dabbled in small drug sales for the two higher-level dealers, a move that "started well and ended badly," according to Crown counsel Henry Waldock, with Edwards owing the men money, which led to the supposed confinement and extortion.

    The defence said the case should never have even been prosecuted given holes in the Crown's case, and that Edwards was in a 60-hour cocaine-induced bender at the time. "(Mr. Edwards) was a liar, an addict, a thief and a manipulator," Olson's lawyer David Donnelly told the court. "There is a difference between a theory and the facts," he said. "My friend's theory is full of holes."

    During the trial in March 2015, defence argued that Edwards hatched a plan to frame Olson and Egilson after he inadvertently crossed another group of local drug dealers. "Mr. Edwards crossed the original team that runs the Chilliwack drug show," Egilson's lawyer Paul Dutt said.

    Between Edwards's lack of memory about the incident on the stand, the fact that he did not call 911 or go to the Chilliwack RCMP detachment during a time when he was let go by the men to get money from his parents, and Kennedy's hostility to the Crown — despite the fact that she was a Crown witness — Gardner said he was left with reasonable doubt.

    Gardner invoked Ontario Court Justice William Horkins, who presided over the Jian Ghomeshi trial, and his words as quoted in the Globe and Mail: "When one considers the grave consequences of being wrongfully convicted of an offence such as this, one can understand why nothing less than proof beyond reasonable doubt can be accepted as the foundation of a criminal conviction,” Horkins said of the Ghomeshi case. "I'm afraid I am left with a reasonable doubt," Gardner told the court in Chilliwack Wednesday, before finding Olson and Egilson not guilty.

    Olson's troubles with the justice system aren't over, as he was due in court Friday facing dangerous driving, stolen property and flight from an officer charges. And he's due back in court March 8 alongside Troy James to fix a date for trial in connection with an alleged home-invasion robbery with a gun, followed by a carjacking and police chase.



    By Paul J. Henderson - The Province/Feb. 26, 2016
    http://www.theprovince.com/news/dru...ce+against+cocaine+abuser/11747662/story.html
    Newshawk Crew

    About Author

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. Nosferatus
    Crap like this only happens because of prohibition.

    As for the actual outcome, this is actually a positive comment on the Canadian justice system, decisions are made with direct evidence and nothing else, I'm fairly certain they did do it, but things like this are potential repercussions one accepts when they choose to deal with the criminal element, especially in a way that involves becoming indebted to them.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    This is true; but, alas, it's still happening at the moment--all around the world.
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