Crime in Alberta during 2009: A Year in Review
Published Monday, December 28, 2009 7:19PM MST
Just days before Albertans ring in a new year, CTV's David Ewasuk takes a look at the major crime and court stories that captured headlines during 2009.
Hennessey & Cheeseman
Shawn Hennessey and Dennis Cheeseman avoid going to trial after their lawyers broker manslaughter pleas in January.
They are sentenced for their respective roles in transporting James Rosko to his farm outside Mayerthorpe in 2005 and supplying him with a weapon that later claims the lives of four RCMP officers.
At the time of the verdict, Hennessey's aunt offers this statement: "Hindsight is 20/20 and if they could make different decisions knowing how all this would unfold, I'm sure they would."
Hennessey receives a 15-year jail term and Cheeseman gets 12 years behind bars. Corrections Canada reverses a decision to send the men out of province for their sentences, allowing Hennessey to serve his time in Grande Cache and Cheeseman to serve his time in Drumheller so that both can be close to their families.
After pleading guilty to manslaughter charges, both men have announced plans to launch an appeal.
A Yellowknife jury convicts Edmonton-area drug dealer Emrah Bulatci of first-degree murder in connection to the shooting death of Hay River RCMP Cst. Christopher Worden.
The conviction comes with an automatic life sentence.
Back in 2007, Bulatci was captured in an unprecedented manhunt a week after the killing. He engaged in a seven-hour standoff in west Edmonton and was taken into custody after police set off stun-grenades and stormed the residence.
All eyes are on Edmonton in October when a former construction worker walks into the Workers' Compensation Board building and takes nine people hostage.
Police escort about 700 workers to safety and cordon off blocks around the building during a tense ten-hour standoff.
The last of the hostages is released just after 6 p.m. and 38-year-old Patrick Clayton is taken into custody for the incident.
The accused, who claims he was treated unfairly by the W.C.B., says he took desperate action in an attempt to get his story out to the media.
An Edmonton foster mother is given three years behind bars for her role in the death of a three-year-old boy who was in her care.
Much of the trial centres around whether the infant, who died after hitting his head on a toilet seat, could have received his injuries after falling from her arms, or whether the blunt force trauma would have required willful action on the part of the accused.
During the trial it is revealed the foster mom left the toddler sleeping in a garage during the winter without clothes on.
A judge upholds the second-degree murder verdict for a young Wetaskiwin woman convicted of killing her newborn son.
Katrina Effert's lawyer launched an appeal claiming his client should be convicted of the lesser charge of infanticide; he argues Effert's mind was disturbed when she killed her newborn because of reasons relating to the birth.
In an RCMP video from 2005 Effert is heard admitting she panicked three hours after the delivery while she was alone in her room.
"I put him [the baby] face down and then I wrapped my underwear around his neck," she said.
Effert, who was 19 at the time of the incident, is sentenced to at least ten years in prison with no chance of parole.
She is once again appealing the conviction.
44-year-old Duane McArthur, who was gunned down at his Mill Woods spa in April, is hailed as a hero for saving the lives of others, including his wife.
Police originally thought the gunman, identified as 18-year-old Pierre Ilunga, entered the the Bella Tonic Spa in an attempt to rob the business, but witnesses say there was no demand for money and that McArthur confronted Ilunga so others could escape.
The killer was later seen in a surveillance video at a nearby liquor store moments before he took his own life.
The City of Edmonton is planning to recognize McArthur's bravery with an award.
A Red Deer man who impersonated a police officer in order to abduct and sexually assault a teenage girl pleads guilty to several offences in November, but will have to wait until the New Year to learn his fate.
In February, a 16-year-old girl was kidnapped from outside her Penhold, Alta. home. She was later found at the Bower Place Shopping Centre in Red Deer about 46 hours after she was reported missing.
Gerard John Baumgarte has confessed to kidnapping, using an imitation firearm, assault with a weapon, sexual assault, confinement and impersonating a peace officer in connection to the incident.
The courts sentence Vishva Juneja to 2-and-a-half years in prison for running a common bawdy house.
A judge finds the 64-year-old used his driving school as a front for recruiting prostitutes after the Crown brought forward police evidence of used condoms, private rooms, boards with descriptions of each woman and testimony from a female who says she performed sexual favours for money under Juneja's watch.
Before his sentencing, the accused told CTV News he expected a conditional sentence because of his medical conditions - he said he is a diabetic and requires insulin.
Justice Richard Marceau has this to say during Juneja's sentencing :
"[He] appears to make no distinction between operating a driving school and a brothel. There is no moral compass in this man."
Leo Teskey, a man convicted of beating an elderly landlord into a vegetative state in 2000, manages to again tie up the court system by firing his lawyer during just moments before the start of his dangerous offender hearing.
The move comes after a series of what the victim's wife Leslie Miller calls "delay tactic[s]" over the past years, including multiple trials and appeals and three other changes of legal representation.
"The one thing I've learned over the last nine years is to expect the unexpected," said Miller.
"He's manipulating the court, he's manipulating the judge, everyone has to wait around for what he wants."
A judge has adjourned the case until Teskey can find a new lawyer. He noted the additional time the convicted man spends in the Remand Centre will not be taken into account because Teskey himself asked for the delay.
The man many Edmontonians love to hate runs from the cameras in California after he's accused of filing false bankruptcy papers.
The F.B.I. claims the former owner of the Edmonton Oilers has millions of dollars hidden away and arrests him at his gated community.
Pocklington will start trial in a U.S. federal courthouse in the New Year.