A sentence hearing before Judge Michelle Daneliuk Friday – turned into a confession by a crown prosecutor and arguments by the defence lawyer that the longer this situation continues the more his client has to pay and pay.
It was not long ago that a judge stated firmly this matter should be determined by November of 2018 with a statement of facts both sides confirmed. It seems the lawyers involved have not communicated well – even though they persist in calling each other “my friend”.
The arguments today: did the crown prosecutor contact the judge without consent and knowledge of the defendant and his lawyer?
Did the crown witnesses bring up the suggestion that they wanted a “quick” hunt for a black bear because of the death of a grandmother?
Most in the courtroom perplexed as to the “silliness” displayed and the patience of the court in steering the matter to a resolution.
Lawyer Kevin Church for Mr. Wiens
Lawyer John Blackman for the Queen (as in Regina vs Wiens)
The court told the participating lawyers – phone each other and reach some agreement or schedule another hearing on facts and sentencing arguments by February 4th.
Undercover sting operation at the heart of conservation charges
November 27, 2018
James Wiens, 51, pleaded guilty to three Wildlife Act charges stemming from an undercover sting orchestrated by the BC Conservation Officer Service on Vaseux Creek Outfitters.
Court heard that BC Conservation opened an investigation into Wiens in 2016 after a complaint from the public. Investigators enlisted the help of a conservation officer from Idaho and a 2nd from Washington State.
The sting saw the American officers pose as prospective clients interested in a black bear hunt.
Crown prosecutor John Blackman said Wiens told the undercover officers he had a 100 per cent success rate on black bear hunts.
“He added that they would sit and watch in the afternoons — there were some clover patches and other areas he knows the bears will come into like clockwork every day,” Blackman said.
Over the span of four days during a hunting trip in May 2016, the officers observed and in some cases, photographed, Wiens pouring fryer grease and dog food at various locations to bait bears.
Referring to 973-pages worth of disclosure from the Crown, defence lawyer Kevin Church noted that the undercover operation was intricately planned in every fashion.
The judge, Michelle Daneliuk directed the matter be set over for a date early next year for her to deliver a sentence and urged the lawyers to attempt to reach an agreement on whether the offence was an isolated one.
Photo by Stocks