A trial for a Meadow Lake man facing 13 firearms-related charges in connection to a shooting last year didn’t go ahead as scheduled after defence lost contact with the accused.
The trial in Meadow Lake Provincial Court was scheduled for Aug. 11 but it was adjourned at the request of defence counsel who had temporarily lost contact with Lennex Merasty-Morin.
Counsel had advised both the Crown and the court before the scheduled trial date so Crown could cancel witness appearances. And by the time the matter was spoken to in court Aug. 11, Merasty-Morin’s lawyer had been in contact with him so a new case management date was set.
Merasty-Morin pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was released on bail in April.
Merasty-Morin was one of five people arrested in connection to an incident where two men were allegedly shot while they were driving near the intersection of 7th Avenue and 5th Street West in Meadow Lake on Nov. 23, 2019.
Meadow Lake RCMP say that the 32-year-old driver of the vehicle was shot in the back and his 50-year-old passenger was also injured. Police didn’t say what were the injuries to the passenger. RCMP officers went to the hospital to get information from the two victims, which led them to a suspect vehicle on a rural road near Meadow Lake. The vehicle lost control while police were pursuing them. The white Chevrolet crashed into a bush on Range Road 610.
Others in the vehicle arrested included Cory Bouvier, 30, Richard Angus, 38, Joshua Matheson, 26, and Charley Seright, 25, who were all charged with flight from police and dangerous operation of a vehicle. The charges of flight from police in that incident were stayed against Bouvier in April. The charges against Richard Angus were withdrawn. The charges against Joshua Matheson were stayed in Meadow Lake Provincial Court. The charges against Seright didn’t go to court.
The RCMP didn’t find any weapons in the vehicle after it crashed and issued a warrant for the arrest of Merasty-Morin. Police didn’t say what led them to issue the arrest warrant for Merasty-Morin. He was arrested in December 2019 after a foot chase that ended with the RCMP deploying a Conducted Energy Weapon (Taser) on Merasty-Morin.
Cory Bouvier is also facing weapons and robbery charges stemming from an incident in April 2020 when he was arrested by the RCMP Emergency Response Team after there were allegedly threats made with the use of firearms. Police arrested Bouvier, along with Monica Bouvier, 24, at a home on the 200 block of 2ndStreet West. She is charged with weapons offences, robbery, mischief and obstruction of a peace officer. She was released on bail in April.
At the time of Cory Bouvier’s arrest, the RCMP Emergency Response Team was already in Meadow Lake to deal with a call about threats with the use of a firearm at another house on the 500 block of 6 Avenue West. At that house police arrested Cassidy Dillon Regan, 29. He was charged with firearms-related offences, uttering threats and breach of probation. He was released on bail after a hearing on July 6. The RCMP ERT went to two homes within a matter of hours. Police haven’t said whether the incidents are related.
A trial for Bouvier on the April 2020 charges was derailed after witnesses failed to appear in court July 16. Bouvier was denied bail Aug. 7 and appears in court on those matters Aug. 17. Bouvier also has charges out of Prince Albert that are being dealt with in Prince Albert Provincial Court.
The charges against Bouvier and Merasty-Morin haven't been proven in court.
Merasty-Morin appears next in Meadow Lake Provincial Court on Sept. 14 to set a new trial date.