Houston youth turns himself in after arrest warrant issued for failing to appear in court

Houston youth turns himself in after arrest warrant issued for failing to appear in court

The youth is expected to plead guilty or not guilty in January

Matters arising from altercations during a pre-graduation party held at Sunset Lake campground in June 2017 still remain before the court.

A Houston youth, changed with assaulting Gerald Lester Whitford, has turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued Nov. 5, 2018, for failing to appear in court.

This was the second time this youth failed to appear in court this year.

According to the B.C. Prosecution Service, the young person is now expected to plead guilty or not guilty on Jan. 7, 2019.

If the youth pleads not guilty, a trial date will be set, and both Crown and defence counsel will then estimate the amount of time they believe will be required for the trial. If the youth pleads guilty, a trial will not be held, and the next step will be for the judge to decide the appropriate sentence.

The youth is one of two people charged with assaulting Whitford during the pre-graduation party, where three individuals were taken to hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries resulting from party altercations. They cannot be identified due to their age.

The co-accused was given a conditional release in June 2018 and placed on probation for 12 months with a number of conditions.

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Whitford had originally been charged with three counts of aggravated assault for altercations that occurred during the party, but later pleaded guilty to the lesser included offence of assault with a weapon. He was sentenced to a nine-month conditional sentence to be followed by one year of probation last February.

Whitford’s mother-in-law Mavis Goertzen lodged several complaints with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP on Feb. 13, 2018.

In a copy of the complaint, obtained by Houston Today, Goertzen says the RCMP “failed to conduct a proper investigation,” specifying that key witnesses have not been interviewed, including her daughter Elisha Goertzen. Her daughter has since been questioned by the RCMP.

The B.C. Prosecution Service and the RCMP have not commented on this case given that the matters arising from the assault upon Whitford remain before the court.



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