Cloutier elects trial by judge

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

A Girouxville man who is facing multiple charges arising out of running an alleged “chop shop” including drug charges, has elected to be tried by a judge alone.

Ron Cloutier was back in Peace River provincial court before Judge J.R. McIntosh on Nov. 18, appearing via CCTV.

His co-accused, Thomas Cloutier, Ember Brewster, Shantelle Barclay, and Jennifer Emard are not in custody and all continue to appear in court in person.

After telling the judge at his last court date he had been denied legal aid and could not afford a lawyer without being out of prison, Cloutier is now looking for a lawyer.

Cloutier and his co-accused’s charges arose after McLennan RCMP executed a search warrant on a rural property near Girouxville on Sept. 24. Sgt. Dave Browne, Peace Regional Detachment, says it was the second time a search warrant was executed at that property.

Police seized 27 grams of methamphetamine, 213 grams of cocaine, $1,830 in Canadian currency, a firearm, various weapons and a SUV that was previously reported stolen from High Prairie during the search.

Cloutier is back in provincial court on Nov. 25 for some more housekeeping, but elected to have a Court of Queen’s bench trial with no jury, which will mean his co-accused will also be tried the same way.

The trial date has not yet been set.

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