Accused disputes judge’s ruling

‘That’s not legal, your honour!’ – yells Cloutier

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

A Girouxville man accused of numerous drug-related charges will be back in Peace River provincial court Nov. 18 to enter his plea.

Ronald Cloutier, 56, made his first appearance in court Oct. 28 to answer to charges of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, breach of conditions, possession of stolen property, possession of a prohibited substance, careless use and storage of firearms and possession of prohibited firearms.

Cloutier appeared in court via CCTV after his bail was previously denied. Cloutier’s co-accused, who are out of jail on conditions, appeared in person in court.

“Legal aid will not support me so I have to go back to work to be able to get counsel,” Cloutier told provincial court Judge G.R. Ambrose.

“Your bail was denied so that kind of forestalls your getting out to get to work,” Judge Ambrose replied.

Cloutier told court he doesn’t qualify for Legal Aid because he owns a house.

After the crown prosecutor also pointed out the court could not do anything to get Cloutier a lawyer if he has been denied by Legal Aid, Judge Ambrose set the next court appearance for all accused to Nov. 18 amid Cloutier’s protests.

“That’s not legal! That’s not legal, your honour!” Cloutier yelled as he was led away from the CCTV room by a correctional officer.

Charges arose after McLennan RCMP executed a search warrant on a rural property near Girouxville on Sept. 24. Police seized 27 g of methamphetamine, 213 g 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, as well as Thomas Cloutier, Ember Brewster, Shantelle Barclay, and Jennifer Emard, were all arrested. All appear in court Nov. 18.

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