Woodstock Provincial Court: Kidnapping and firearms charges dropped, Johnville man in custody until next court appearance

by | Mar 1, 2024

Crown withdraws kidnapping, firearm charges against Bull and Fitzherbert 

Jeffrey Richard Bull, 45, of Newburg, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Feb. 28 and heard the crown withdraw all 14 charges laid against him by RCMP. He was released from custody.

Bull was arrested and denied bail in connection with an incident involving a female victim on Oct. 15, 2023, in Pembroke. He was charged with kidnapping, unlawful confinement, pointing a firearm at another person, assault while threatening to use a weapon, possession of a firearm (a shotgun) to commit an offence, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a licence, possession of a firearm while prohibited, flight from police, dangerous driving, resisting arrest, careless use of a gun, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing it carried a firearm, and breach of probation.

His co-accused, Ryan Michael Fitzherbert, 28, of Woodstock, appeared in court on Feb. 29 when the crown withdrew all charges against him.

Fitzherbert was charged with kidnapping while using a firearm, unlawful confinement, possession of a firearm without a licence, unauthorized possession of a firearm, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing it carried a gun, breach of probation, and breach of a release order, in connection with the same incident involving Bull.

Fitzherbert appeared in provincial court in custody on Feb. 21 on two other charges laid by RCMP. He was remanded to jail for a bail hearing on Feb. 23 and was released with conditions. 

He was charged by RCMP with intimidation and breaching his release by violating a no-contact order with a female complainant following an incident on Feb. 20 in Woodstock. The crown also dismissed those charges on Feb. 29.

Crown Prosecutors Christopher Lavigne and Kathleen Jacobs told the court the crown decided not to proceed with the charges against both men due to insufficient evidence and no prospect for conviction. All weapons and ammunition seized during the investigation were forfeited to the crown.

Fitzherbert told the court he has one outstanding matter remaining at the Court of King’s Bench when he will stand trial on April 15-17 on drug trafficking charges.

In custody after incident in Johnville

Brandon Schriver, 22, of Johnville, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Feb. 29 for a bail hearing. He was remanded to jail and returns to court in custody for plea on March 14 at 9:30 a.m.

Schriver was charged by RCMP with possession of prohibited weapons, assaulting a police officer with a weapon, flight from police, dangerous driving, driving while prohibited, possession of stolen property, and breach of probation in connection with an incident on Feb. 22 in Johnville. 

Police arrested him after receiving a report of two suspicious vehicles at a residence in Johnville. Upon arrival, police saw an individual jump into a vehicle, which then rammed the police car before fleeing at a high rate of speed. Police then followed the vehicle until it eventually came to a stop. The driver exited the vehicle but was quickly apprehended by police. No one was injured during the incident.

Butler trial adjourned to new dates

Rodney Butler, 49, of Bulls Creek, was scheduled to take the stand at his trial on Feb. 29 when the matter was adjourned to a new date at the request of his defence counsel. Butler will return to court to continue his trial on March 20 at 9:30 a.m. and April 4 at 1:30 p.m.

RCMP charged him with intentionally discharging a firearm while reckless as to the life and safety of another person, indictable assault, uttering threats, using a handgun to kidnap Chris Demerchant, unlawful confinement, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, possession of a firearm without a licence, and illegal possession of a firearm in a vehicle on Nov. 13, 2021, at Bulls Creek. 

His partner, Christine Pelletier-Thibodeau, was fatally shot outside their home during the incident. No one has been charged in relation to her death.

The crown closed its case against Butler in early February after several days of testimony were heard before Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean. Defence Counsel Alex Pate will begin testimony for the defence at Butler’s next court appearance in March.

Timothy Grant, 31, of Canterbury, appeared in provincial court on Feb. 26 for a hearing on charges related to the same alleged kidnapping of a Scotts Siding man. 

RCMP charged Grant with using a handgun to kidnap Chris Demerchant, unlawful confinement, and indictable assault. The matter was adjourned until March 26 at 9:30 a.m., when a new date for his trial will be set.

Two Romanian men plead guilty in border incident

Two Romanian men, who have addresses in the United States, appeared in provincial court in custody on Feb. 27 and pleaded guilty to crossing the international border illegally. They will be sentenced on March 15 at 9:30 a.m.

Guiseppe Petre, 31, and David Constantin, 22, both of Sacramento, California, were each charged under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with failing to appear for examination. They were arrested after a vehicle entered Canada without stopping at the Woodstock-Houlton border crossing on Jan. 30. 

Police stopped the vehicle shortly after receiving a call from border services and returned the suspects to the border authorities without further incident. The two men told police they were confused and didn’t realize it was a border crossing.

The charge is an indictable offence under federal legislation and, upon conviction, can result in two years in jail or a $50,000 fine. The two men had a Romanian interpreter to assist them with the court proceedings.

Arrested and released with conditions

Alexander St. Peter, 26, of Arthurette, appeared in provincial court in custody on Feb. 29 and was released with conditions. He returns to court for plea on March 19 at 1:30 p.m.

RCMP charged St. Peter with failing to appear in court on Nov. 21, 2023, and impaired driving on July 29, 2023, at Bedell. He was arrested on a warrant.

Suspended sentence, fine and probation 

Brian Thomas Ketch, 43, of Jacksontown, appeared for trial in provincial court on Feb. 28 and changed his plea to guilty on charges laid by Woodstock Police and RCMP. He received a suspended sentence and 12 months of probation and was fined $300.

Ketch pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching an undertaking by violating a no-contact order on March 21, 2023, and March 28, 2023, at Jacksontown, and guilty to breach of a release order between Aug. 20 and Sept. 25, 2023, in Woodstock. He appeared in provincial court in custody in October for a bail hearing and was released with conditions.

Ketch was also charged with assault involving a female victim concerning an incident on March 11, 2023, at Jacksontown. He agreed to sign a 12-month peace bond, and the matter did not proceed. The crown withdrew one other remaining charge. Ketch had a dated prior criminal record.

Sentencing adjourned for Plaster Rock man

Corbin Messinger, 22, of Plaster Rock, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Feb. 28 for sentencing on five charges laid by RCMP. The matter was adjourned until April 2 at 1:30 p.m. to allow for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. 

Messinger pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a release order and two counts of uttering threats following an incident on Jan. 20 at Plaster Rock. He also pleaded guilty to assault while threatening to use a weapon (a knife) stemming from an incident on Jan. 7 at Plaster Rock.

He appeared in provincial court in custody on Jan. 22, only four days after his release from jail and was remanded for a bail hearing. He pleaded guilty and was remanded for sentencing.

Sentenced on four charges

Daniel Jr. Francis, 31, of Neqotkuk, appeared in provincial court in custody on Feb. 29 and was sentenced to 150 days in jail, minus time served, after changing his plea to guilty on four charges laid by RCMP. He has 43 days left to serve in custody.

Francis pleaded guilty to two counts of uttering threats, assaulting police while threatening to use a weapon (a knife), and breach of probation concerning an incident on Dec. 2, 2023, at Neqotkuk. The crown withdrew several other charges.

Held for bail hearing

Terrance Wright, 60, of Greenfield, appeared in provincial court in custody on Feb. 28. He waived his bail until later and was remanded. Wright was charged with breaching his release order and returns to court in custody on March 11 at 1:30 p.m. to set a date for a bail hearing.

He appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing on Dec. 14, 2023, and was released with conditions. RCMP charged him with three counts of uttering threats against a female victim and committing mischief causing property damage in connection with an incident on Dec. 11, 2023, at Greenfield. He was ordered to have no contact with the complainant.

He appeared in provincial court on Jan. 30 and pleaded not guilty to the charges. His trial dates were set for Nov. 28 at 9:30 a.m. and Dec. 9 at 9:30 a.m.

In custody awaiting plea

Jordan Ronald Broad, 29, of Florenceville-Bristol, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Feb. 28 for a bail hearing. He was remanded to jail and returns to court in custody for plea on March 13 at 9:30 a.m. 

RCMP charged Broad with breaching his release order stemming from an incident on Feb. 12. He was also charged with breach of an undertaking, assault with a weapon (a candleholder) and committing mischief causing property damage for an incident on Jan. 6 in Florenceville-Bristol. He appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Jan. 10, was held for a bail hearing, and then released with conditions.

He also appeared in provincial court on Dec. 19, 2023, and pleaded not guilty to three other charges laid by RCMP. His trial date was set for Oct. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Broad was charged with assault, uttering threats, and assault by choking involving a female victim concerning an incident on Oct. 8, 2023, in Florenceville-Bristol. 

Trial adjourned for Greenfield woman 

Beverley Dawn Kenneson, 54, of Greenfield, will appear for trial in provincial court on Sept. 6 at 9:30 a.m. after pleading not guilty to two charges laid by RCMP. Her trial was first scheduled for March 20 but was adjourned to the new date at the request of her defence counsel.

Kenneson was charged with shoplifting and defrauding Smith Drugs Ltd., stemming from an incident between July 11 and July 23, 2022, in Florenceville-Bristol. She pleaded not guilty at a court appearance on May 16, 2023.

Arrested and released with conditions

Ronald Johnston, 68, of Lincoln, appeared in provincial court in custody via teleconference on Feb. 28 and was released with conditions. He returns to court on July 15 at 1:30 p.m. for his trial on an impaired driving charge.

RCMP charged Johnston following an incident on July 16, 2021, in Perth-Andover. He pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for trial on Aug. 14, 2023, and Jan. 10 but failed to attend either court date. He was arrested on a warrant and appeared in court in custody from Fredericton. A new trial date was set before he was released.

Neqotkuk woman released with conditions

Rachel Sockabasin of Neqotkuk appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Feb. 28 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions. She returns to court for plea on March 19 at 9:30 a.m.

RCMP charged Sockabasin with failing to appear in court, breach of probation and three counts of theft concerning incidents on Feb. 12, Aug. 11, 2023, and Dec. 22, 2023, at Carlingford.

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