Three co-accused charged in Gatzke murder make first court appearance

Three men charged in connection to the 2019 murder of Ryan Gatzke made their first court appearances in North Battleford Provincial Court May 19.

Jacob Joseph Ballantyne, 25, from Edam, Isaac Melko, 22, and Charles Michael Lewis McLean, 23, both from North Battleford, were all remanded in custody but they are trying to get bail.

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A fourth accused from North Battleford was 17 at the time of the murder and has been charged but his name can’t be released in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He is now 18 and is charged with second-degree murder, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, carrying a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, possession of a firearm without a license, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle and possession of a restricted firearm while prohibited.

Police arrested the four after an eight-month long investigation by RCMP Major Crimes North into the Oct. 18, 2019, murder of Ryan Gatzke, 27, at a home on the 100 block of 26 Street West in Battleford.

Ballantyne is charged with second degree murder, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, pointing a firearm, possession of a firearm without a license, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle, and possession of a restricted firearm while prohibited. Ballantyne’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 3 for a show cause hearing and to speak to the charges.

Melko is charged with second degree murder, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, carry a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, possession of a firearm without a license, and unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle. Melko is scheduled to appear in North Battleford Provincial Court on May 26 for election and to speak to the charges.

McLean is charged with manslaughter, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle, and break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence. McLean is scheduled to appear in North Battleford Provincial Court June 9 for a show cause hearing on the murder charge. He is also scheduled to appear in court June 15 to speak to the weapons charges. 

 

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