Centreville man sentenced to 13 months in jail

by | Jul 13, 2023

Brandon Jay Smith, 26, of Centreville, was sentenced to a total of 13 months in jail when he appeared in provincial court on July 12. He was also placed on probation for one year and was ordered to register with the federal DNA database.

Smith pleaded guilty to shoplifting at the Great Canadian Dollar Store in Florenceville-Bristol on Jan. 6 and guilty to break and enter at a dwelling house, committing mischief causing property damage, and being an occupant of a vehicle knowing it carried a firearm, concerning another incident on Jan. 26 in Holmesville. Two other charges laid by RCMP were withdrawn by the crown.

Smith was ordered to pay $75 in restitution to the Dollar Store. During the other incident, the court heard Smith and two other individuals damaged a metal gate to gain access to a property in Holmesvlle and then broke into a cottage with plans to commit a robbery. After forcing their way into the building through a barricaded doorway, they disconnected the electrical power and destroyed a video surveillance system.

The three culprits went through every room in the cottage, looking for items to put in barrels to carry away.  Meanwhile, the owner noticed his cell phone was no longer linked to the camera system at his cottage so he alerted a neighbour and the police about a possible break-in.  After they arrived at the cottage, Smith and his two cohorts attempted to make their escape but were apprehended at the scene.

The cottage sustained $7,500 in damage as a result of the break-in. The court heard Smith was the driver of the vehicle and an active participant in the crime. An operable firearm was found inside the vehicle, containing one spent shell. The gun was seized and forfeited to the crown. Smith received a prohibition on firearms as part of his sentence.

Smith had a prior criminal record. He appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing on Jan. 31. He was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle. During his arrest, he told police he uses methamphetamine daily and didn’t see it as a problem. He held a steady job and followed a curfew as part of his release order.

Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean told the accused there was no such thing as a responsible meth user and he would be punished for his criminal behaviour with time behind bars.

“Methamphetamine weaves the fabric of 90 per cent of everything that goes across my desk,” Judge McLean said. “If you hang out with idiots and chew meth pills, you’ll be back here. Some of your friends are already in jail and others are dead and gone.”

A co-accused, Cody Michaud of Morrell Siding, was recently sentenced to five years in prison on a long list of criminal charges. A third accused, Kelsey Brooker, 29, of Florenceville-Bristol, is also facing charges in relation to the break-in at the cottage.

Six months in jail for impaired driving

Danielle Lee Ritchie, 39, of Newbridge, was sentenced to six months in jail when she appeared in provincial court on July 11 to face charges of impaired driving. She was also placed on probation for 12 months and was prohibited from driving for four years.

Ritchie had a prior criminal record with a previous conviction for impaired driving. Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean also ordered her to seek mental health counseling and treatment for alcohol addiction.

Ritchie pleaded guilty to refusing a breathalyzer demand and driving while suspended, stemming from an incident on May 19, 2022, in Woodstock. The charges were laid by Woodstock Police.

Ritchie also pleaded guilty to impaired driving and flight from police for another incident on Sept. 8, 2021, at Limestone. The court heard the RCMP stopped her vehicle on Dugan Road but she fled the scene. A police chase ensued until her vehicle left the highway and crashed into the woods. Her blood alcohol level was over three times the legal limit.

Ritchie also pleaded guilty to two counts of shoplifting for incidents between June 21, 2021, and July 6, 2021, at two stores in Minto. She received a suspended sentence and 12 months probation for those offences.

Trial delayed for ‘volatile’ Benton man

A Benton man refused to come into the courtroom when he appeared for trial in provincial court on July 12.

Edward Hayes, Jr., 27, was scheduled to stand trial on Wednesday after pleading not guilty to charges of sexual assault and unlawful confinement involving a female victim between May 18 and June 13, 2022, in Summerfield. He came to the Woodstock courthouse on Wednesday but would not come into the courtroom to attend the proceedings.

Defence Counsel Michael Mallory said Hayes was uncomfortable about being in the presence of the complainant. Mallory requested an adjournment due to a late disclosure of evidence from her. Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Butler agreed to the adjournment because the new information had also not yet been shared with the crown.

While granting the adjournment, Judge Sebastian Michaud told the court Hayes was “volatile” when he arrived on the premises but left the courthouse after sheriffs and police tried to calm him in the corridor and waiting area.

A new trial date was set for Oct. 19 at 9:30 a.m. However, Hayes must return to court for monitoring about his trial on July 26 at 9:30 a.m. On that date, the defence may request a hearing about the late disclosure.

A warrant of arrest is being held on file until Hayes’ next court appearance this month. He was also scheduled to be sentenced on July 12 on a mischief charge related to a separate incident on June 17, 2022, in Woodstock, when a holding cell was damaged. He pleaded guilty. His sentencing for this offence was moved to the July 26 court appearance.

Found fit to stand trial

William (Billy) Harding, 33, of Plaster Rock, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on July 11 for a fitness hearing after completing a 30-day mental health assessment at the Restigouche hospital. He was found fit to stand trial and returns to court in custody on July 18 at 11:30 a.m.

Harding appeared in provincial court in custody by video on May 23 and pleaded not guilty to all charges. No trial date has yet been set. He appeared in provincial court in custody by video on May 8 and was denied bail.

RCMP charged Harding with break and enter at a dwelling house, breach of a release order, and uttering threats for an incident on April 24 in Perth Andover.

He was also charged by RCMP with breach of an undertaking, and break and enter at a dwelling house for incidents on April 16 and April 17 in Perth-Andover. He was also charged with theft from the Great Canadian Dollar Store in Perth-Andover on April 1.

On April 20, Harding appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing and was released with conditions. However, he was arrested and taken back into custody six days after his release.

Arrest warrant issued

The court issued an arrest warrant for Trevor Crain, 49, of Killoween, after he failed to appear in provincial court on July 11 to set a date for his trial.

Crain appeared in provincial court in custody by video on June 21 for a bail hearing. He was released with conditions until his next court appearance.

Crain was charged by RCMP with break and enter at a dwelling house and breaching an undertaking on June 15 at Moose Mountain, and committing an assault on June 11 at Killoween. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was also charged him with theft of gas from the Co-op Country Store in Florenceville-Bristol on Jan. 13.

Second arrest warrant

Another arrest warrant was issued for Braxton Denny, 23, of Woodstock, after he failed to appear in provincial court on July 11 to answer a new charge. Denny was charged with break and enter at a dwelling house, concerning an incident on Feb. 18 in Woodstock.

Denny is also scheduled to appear for trial in provincial court on March 4, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. after pleading not guilty to other charges laid by RCMP.

Denny was charged with committing mischief causing property damage and breach of an undertaking on Dec. 9, 2022, at Upper Woodstock; two counts of assault and committing mischief causing property damage on Dec. 8, 2022, at Upper Woodstock. He was arrested on a warrant for failing to attend court and was released with conditions. Denny entered his not-guilty pleas at a court appearance on April 25.

Third arrest warrant

The court also issued an arrest warrant for Brandon Cecil Armour, 34, of no fixed address, after he failed to appear in provincial court on July 11 to answer two charges laid by Woodstock Police.

Armour was charged with prowling at night and resisting arrest in connection with an incident on March 24 in Woodstock.

He is also scheduled to appear for trial in provincial court on Nov. 16 at 9:30 a.m. after pleading not guilty to three other charges laid by RCMP. He entered his plea at a court appearance on Feb. 21.

Armour was charged with break and enter at a dwelling house, committing mischief causing property damage to a door, and assault on a female victim, stemming from an incident on June 8, 2022, in Hartland.

Fourth arrest warrant

An arrest warrant was also issued for Shane Lee Dickison, 35, of Woodstock, after he failed to appear in provincial court to answer charges on July 11. Dickison was charged with two violations of an Emergency Intervention Order for incidents on June 18-19 when he allegedly went to a residence while ordered to stay away.

Charged with assault by throwing hot coffee

Diana Cogswell, 21, of Beardsley Road, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. to enter a plea on an assault charge.

Cogswell was charged by RCMP with assault with a weapon (a cup of hot coffee) following an incident involving another woman on April 18 in Lower Woodstock. She made her first court appearance on July 11 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Alleged theft from Subway

Megan Dawn Grant, 42, of Perth-Andover, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. to answer a theft charge.

Grant was charged by RCMP with stealing money from the Subway in Perth-Andover, concerning an incident on March 10. She made her first court appearance on July 11 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Woodstock man charged with assault

Thomas Maurice Seguin, 28, of Woodstock, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 22 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on an assault charge.

Seguin was charged with assault causing bodily harm to another man in connection with an incident on April 11 in Woodstock. He made his first court appearance on July 11 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Charged with impaired driving

Jared Oakes, 41, of Centreville, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on an impaired driving charge.

Oakes was charged by RCMP in connection with an incident on March 9 at Weston. He was represented by his defence counsel via teleconference during a court appearance on July 11.

Charged with uttering threat

Shawn Robert Cole, 51, of Woodstock, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on a threat charge. The matter was scheduled for plea on July 11 but was adjourned to the new date to allow him more time to consult legal counsel.

Cole was charged by Woodstock Police with uttering a threat against a female victim in connection with an incident on Nov. 19, 2022, in Woodstock. 8.

Awaiting plea on two charges

Abigail King-Thurber, 23, of Sheffield, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on two charges laid by RCMP. She was scheduled to enter her plea on July 11 but the matter was adjourned to allow her more time to secure legal counsel.

King-Thurber was charged with failing to attend court on March 28 and possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with an incident on Nov. 30, 2022, at East Brighton.

Woodstock woman faces two charges

Vanessa Golz, 34, of Woodstock, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on two charges.

Golz was charged by Woodstock Police with impaired driving and dangerous driving, stemming from an incident on Jan. 2 in Woodstock. She appeared in court on July 11 and the matter was adjourned to the new date at the request of her defence counsel.

Returning for plea on three charges

Billy Joe Pelletier, 37, of Gladwyn, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on three charges laid by RCMP. He made a court appearance on July 11 when the matter was adjourned to allow him more time to consult legal counsel.

Pelletier was charged with impaired driving and two counts of endangering the life of a child in connection with an incident on April 14 at Gladwyn. He made his first court appearance on June 13.

Remanded for breach of house arrest

Elizabeth Alice Davidson, 53, of Nackawic, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on July 12 for a hearing about breaching her house arrest. She admitted to the breach and a hearing was set for July 26 at 11 a.m. to determine sanctions. She waived her bail and remains in custody.

Davidson appeared in provincial court for sentencing on May 25 and received eight months of house arrest. RCMP later charged her with breaching her house arrest three weeks later and she was taken into custody.

Davidson changed her plea to guilty in April on two charges laid by Woodstock Police. She was charged with breaking into a dwelling house and theft of a Samsung tablet in connection with an incident on March 17, 2022, in Woodstock.

She pleaded guilty to the theft and the lesser included offence of unlawful entry at a dwelling house. She had a prior criminal record. She also pleaded guilty to more charges transferred from Saint John, including theft and two counts of breach of probation for incidents on June 7, 2021, and May 13, 2022.

Returning to court for plea

Tyson Tony Sappier, 26, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), will appear in provincial court on Aug. 15 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on charges laid by Woodstock Police and RCMP.

Sappier appeared in custody by video on May 12 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions. He was charged by Woodstock Police with theft from the Atlantic Superstore and breach of probation on June 15, 2021, in Woodstock. RCMP also charged him with breach of probation by failing to report to a probation officer on July 14, 2021, at Neqotkuk.

Scheduled for trial in November

Olivia Annette Young, 30, of Keswick Ridge, formerly of Woodstock First Nation, appeared in provincial court on July 11 for monitoring about her upcoming trial. She confirmed to the court she will be ready to proceed to trial in November.

Young was charged by RCMP with possession of stolen property (a Ford half-ton) stemming from an incident at Jacksonville on Dec. 12, 2021. She pleaded not guilty and was given a trial date for Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

Young appeared in provincial court in custody via teleconference on March 16. She was remanded to jail for a bail hearing on March 20 and released with conditions. She was arrested on a warrant after she failed to appear for trial in provincial court in December.

Trial date set for Blackville man

Everett Paul Hartley, 39, of Blackville, formerly of Bairdsville, appeared in provincial court on July 11 to answer two charges laid by RCMP. A not-guilty plea was entered and a trial date was set for Feb. 29, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.  He also returns to court for monitoring about his trial on Oct. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

Hartley appeared in provincial court in custody via teleconference on May 23. He was arrested in Miramichi on two warrants and later released. Hartley was charged by RCMP with committing mischief causing property damage to a door and breach of probation for an incident on July 14, 2020, near Bairdsville.

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