Three men charged with murder of Battleford man appear in court

Three men charged in connection to the murder of a Battleford man appeared in court today but the matters for all three were adjourned.

The adjournment is to give lawyers time to receive disclosure. Disclosure consists of the Crown’s case against the accused and usually includes search warrants, the charging document, details of the offence, audio/video and transcribed witness statements, statements from the accused, expert reports, exhibits, private communication intercept authorizations, evidence, as well as criminal records of witnesses and the accused. Early and full disclosure helps the defence and can often help plea negotiations and reduce the number of full criminal trials and wrongful convictions.

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Two adults and one young offender are charged with second-degree murder, and a third adult is charged with manslaughter for the 2019 murder of Ryan Gatzke, 27.

Battlefords RCMP found Gatzke in his home in the 100 block of 26 Street West in Battleford on Oct. 18, 2019. He was badly injured and he was taken to the North Battleford Hospital by EMS where he was later declared deceased.

Isaac Melko, 22, of North Battleford, 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. 

Jacob Joseph Ballantyne, 25, of Edam, 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, pointing a firearm and possession of a firearm without a license.

Charles Michael Lewis MacLean, 23, of North Battleford is charged with manslaughter, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, and break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence.

A young offender – whose name can’t be released in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act - 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. 

Melko, Ballantyne, and McLean are scheduled to appear in North Battleford Provincial Court on Aug. 27 to speak to the matter.

 

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