A 24-year-old Yorkton man will spend the next three years in a federal penitentiary after pleading guilty in Yorkton Provincial Court September 12 to robbery.
Jerid Azure was arrested May 19 and charged with robbery, kidnapping and assault following a party, which, according to the Crown, went terribly awry. In exchange for the guilty plea, the prosecution issued stays of proceedings on the kidnapping and assault charges.
In a joint submission with the defence, prosecutor Andy Wyatt laid out the agreed-upon facts of the case. He said that on the night of May 9 the male victim was partying at a local bar. The victim and some acquaintances decided to leave to try to buy some marijuana at a nearby residence where they continued to party well into the early morning of May 10.
According to the Crown, the man awoke the next day to find himself held captive by Azure and two co-accused, who are scheduled to appear in court again on September 25 and October 28 respectively.
Azure allegedly assaulted the man and accused him of stealing marijuana while the two co-accused threatened the victim, one with a bow and arrow, the other with a roofing hammer.
They demanded the victim’s bank card and PIN, Wyatt said, and one of the co-accused went to the bank and liquor store. After the co-accused returned, the three allegedly offered the victim beer and threatened to kill him and his family if he went to police.
At approximately 4 p.m., Wyatt continued, one of the co-accused let the man go because the other two wanted to kill him.
The Crown cited several aggravating circumstances in asking for three years incarceration including victim impact statements, that Azure was uncooperative with police and refused to take responsibility for his actions and has a lengthy criminal record of 36 convictions including one other robbery and nine violent offences.
Defence attorney Richard Yaholnitsky agreed with the three-year recommendation citing case law that indicates the typical range for similar crimes is two to four years.
The defence described Azure as a man who has been known to volunteer and maintain regular employment and submitted that although Azure had been initially uncooperative, he had since taken responsibility and had saved the victims from having to testify by entering an early guilty plea.
Another mitigating circumstance, Yaholnitsky said, was that his client had been high on pills at the time and has since sworn to address his drug problems.
In accepting the joint submission, Judge Patrick Koskie said he was mandated to do so if the proposed sentence was within the reasonable range, but called the circumstances “particularly aggravating” and “a significant event.”