Man guilty of making death threats against premier
Published Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:45PM MDT
Ronald Labelle has been found guilty of making death threats against Premier Ed Stelmach.
Provincial Court Judge Fern LeReverend convicted Labelle, 57, of three counts on uttering threats Wednesday, as well as 28 other gun-related charges.
"He clearly said the threatening words," LeReverend said. "He intended to intimidate in order to bring his concerns to the premier."
His sentencing hearing has been set for May 26.
During closing arguments, Labelle's defence lawyer Chris Zilinski said his client did not intend for his comments to be taken seriously.
"Mr. Labelle doesn't even remember specifics of the call," he said. "I think he was being candid and just a confused drunk."
Labelle faces threat charges after he allegedly called the premier's office on Sept. 7, 2007, and told receptionist Jennifer Dalmer he was going to hurt Stelmach and his family.
Dalmer testified Tuesday the threats led her to quit her job out of fear.
Crown prosecutor Shane Parker said in his closing arguments that Labelle went out of his way to personalize his threats to intimidate Stelmach.
"The threats are very specific," he said. "Some thought went into personalizing this threat. It get's under someone's skin."
Labelle allegedly said he was going to go the Stelmach's farm, dig it up, kill his animals and hurt his family.
"He intended to be taken seriously or intimidate," Parker said.
Labelle allegedly called to criticize Stelmach about a construction workers dispute that was ongoing at the time.
A police constable who arrested Labelle in his northwest-Edmonton home testified Tuesday that officers found a total of 14 rifles and shotguns in the basement.
With files from Joel Gotlib