High on meth, man chokes, punches girlfriend

H.P. court docket
Feb. 25, 2019
Judge D.R. Shynkar

A young man from Peavine will spend several weeks behind bars after assaulting his girlfriend.
Michael Ian Rurka, 27, was sentenced to 59 days in jail after pleading guilty to the charge, plus two breaches of conditions, when he appeared in High Prairie provincial court Feb. 25.
Rurka assaulted his girlfriend resulting in serious injuries, Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson said.
“He punched her in the face repeatedly and she nearly blacked out.”
Court heard he also choked her, grabbed her by the arms and attempted to stop her from leaving the home.
“She was [eventually] able to flee the residence,” Hudson said.
To worsen his legal troubles, Rurka was on a court order to not have contact with her, and not be in her presence.
Rurka was sentenced to 45 days for assault and an additional 14 days for breaching conditions. He was credited for 17 days served in Peace River Correctional Centre.
During arguments, Hudson and Rurka’s lawyer, Harry Jong, presented a joint submission.
“I would have proposed a longer sentence,” Judge D.R. Shynkar noted.
Rurka says he is remorseful for his actions, Jong said.
“He was high in an altered state of mind on crystal meth. He wants to change his life and he is looking into treatment and counseling for crystal meth.”
When released, Rurka will serve probation for 12 months. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, abstain from drugs and alcohol, and complete counseling and treatment for substance abuse.
In addition, Rurka was also fined $300 after pleading guilty to failing to comply with an undertaking.

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Nathaniel J. Carifelle, 24, of Peavine, was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to unlawful confinement and assault.
Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson submitted Carifelle abused a female friend in her home for several days. During the incident, Carifelle yelled and screamed at her.
“Carifelle was covering her mouth when she tried to scream,” Hudson said.
Judge D.R. Shynkar noted the incident was not over a short period.
“They are serious factors…over roughly one week,” Judge Shynkar said.
Duty counsel Harry Jong and Hudson presented a joint submission of 90 days.
“Ninety days is a light sentence,” said Judge Shynkar, agreeing with the submission.
Carifelle was credited for 17 days served in Peace River Correctional Centre.
After his release, Carifelle faces probation for nine months. He must also complete treatment for addictions and/or substance abuse as directed.
“He is willing to go for treatment,” Jong said.
Carifelle was also ordered to have no contact with the victim and is banned from owning unrestricted firearms for 10 years and restricted firearms for life.

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Keith Louis Calahasen, 52, of Edmonton, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for uttering death threats and uttering threats to cause damage to property.
Court heard Calahasen was intoxicated when he became verbally abusive with peace officers who were arresting him in April 2018.
Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson alleged that Calahasen told one officer, “Let me out of these cuffs or I will kill you.”
To another officer, he said, “I’ll choke you to death.”
Calahasen’s lawyer, Harry Jong, said the incident arose when an intoxicated Calahasen was getting “kicked out” of Prairie River Manor.
“He’s sorry for what he did,” Jong told court.
“I did apologize” to one of the officers, said Calahasen, formerly of High Prairie.
He was also placed on probation for nine months, and ordered to complete treatment for alcohol addictions.
“He wants to do something about his alcohol problem,” Jong said.
Calahasen was credited for nine days served in custody before his court appearance.

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Brendon R. Desjarlais, 28, of Grouard, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 80 mg.
It was his second impaired charge on his criminal record, Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson noted during sentencing arguments.
Court heard that Desjarlais recorded a breath sample of 90 mg after he was stopped by High Prairie RCMP on July 7, in High Prairie.
Desjarlais was granted a request to serve time on weekends.
“An intermittent sentence is appropriate,” Judge Shynkar said.
Desjarlais will serve time in the Peace River Correctional Centre.
The drunk driving charge was not the end of his legal problems. Desjarlais also pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without insurance and was fined $2,875.
Desjarlais was also placed on probation when he is not in prison until his sentence is served.

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Lara Garland, 49, of Peace River, was fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 80 mg.
Court heard Garland, who was also suspended from driving for one year, provided two breath samples of 240 mg after she was stopped in Peace River, Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson alleged.
“She admitted to drinking,” Hudson said.
Judge D.R. Shynkar noted the readings were three times the legal limit and called them “excessive”.
Lawyer Harry Jong spoke for Garland in court and said the incident arose after she was invited to a bar by some friends.
“It’s totally out of character for her,” he said.
Every time she wanted to leave, more people would invite her to drink and she did, he added.
Garland, who had no previous record of impaired driving, admitted her actions.
“It’s the biggest mistake in my life,” she said.

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Rocky Jerry Stewart, 45, of Wabasca, was fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to breach of conditions.
Stewart was found with his common law wife against a court order to have no contact, court heard.
“She invited him, but he should have said no,” Judge D.R. Shynkar said. “You can’t see her.”
Lawyer Harry Jong spoke for Stewart in court, noting she contacted him and invited him over.
Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson requested a sentence of 14 days in jail.
However, Stewart said he was instead willing to pay a large fine, which the judge imposed.

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Jonathan S. Ostermayer, of Teepee Creek, was fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to unauthorized hunting on land under the Wildlife Act.
Court heard Ostermayer was hunting and shot a deer on land where wasn’t supposed to be in the High Prairie area.
“Friends gave him locations where he could hunt and where he couldn’t hunt,” duty counsel Harry Jong said.
“The owner of the residence heard the shot and came out and told him he didn’t have permission to hunt on the land.”
Ostermayer agreed he should know better.
He shot a white-tailed deer and tagged it, said Jong.
Ostermayer was also automatically suspended from hunting for one year.
“You have to be careful where you hunt,” Judge D.R. Shynkar said during sentencing.

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Roger Courtoreille was fined $200 for obstructing a peace officer.
“He failed to give a peace officer in Grande Prairie his real name,” Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson told court.

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Adrian Gladue, 35, of Atikameg, was placed on probation for 12 months after disobeying court orders.
Gladue was reported extremely intoxicated in a residence against a court order to abstain from alcohol, Crown prosecutor Terrance Hudson told court.
“I want to go for treatment,” Gladue told Judge D.R. Shynkar.
As part of his probation, Gladue was ordered to complete treatment and/or counseling for alcohol addictions as directed.

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