Bad de­ci­sion re­sults in fine

Woman pleads guilty to as­sault with a weapon

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS ✦ SOUTHERN ALBERTA - Delon Shurtz LETH­BRIDGE HERALD

When po­lice ar­rived at a west­side home in De­cem­ber 2014, just two days be­fore Christ­mas, they didn’t find presents un­der a tree. In­stead what they found was a home splat­tered with blood and, oddly, smelling of bear spray. They also found a dented fry­ing pan, all ev­i­dence of a fight that had oc­curred some­time be­fore.

At about 1 a.m. Dec . 23 Darien Ver­reault and a male friend went to the home and got into an ar­gu­ment with an­other man. The ar­gu­ment turned into a vi­o­lent fight with a ham­mer.

When it looked like the vic­tim was get­ting the up­per hand, Ver­reault swung a fry­ing pan at his head, which he was able to block with his hand. Ver­reault pan­icked, ran from the house and re­trieved bear spray from the ve­hi­cle in which she and her friend had ar­rived. She re­turned to the house and sprayed both men.

The male as­sailant, who was iden­ti­fied through his DNA, was ar­rested about a year later. His charges were re­solved fol­low­ing a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing.

Ver­reault, who was 18 years old at the time of the in­ci­dent, was iden­ti­fied through the coac­cused’s state­ment to po­lice, and was charged with house­break­ing to com­mit an in­dictable of­fence, and two counts of pos­ses­sion of a weapon for a dan­ger­ous pur­pose. How­ever, she pleaded guilty Thurs­day in Leth­bridge pro­vin­cial court to a lesser charge of as­sault with a weapon and was fined $650, in­clud­ing a $150 vic­tim fine sur­charge.

De­fence lawyer Scott Had­ford told court his client, who hadn’t been in­volved in any crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity be­fore, didn’t know the vic­tim and pan­icked when she saw that he was get­ting the “up­per hand” in the bat­tle.

“She was ter­ri­fied,” Had­ford said, and then made a bad de­ci­sion to get the bear spray.

Ver­reault’s friend was in­jured but never sought med­i­cal help. The vic­tim sus­tained a skull frac­ture and con­cus­sion but has since phys­i­cally re­cov­ered, Crown pros­e­cu­tor Erin Olsen said.

In ad­di­tion to her fine, Ver­reault must sub­mit a sam­ple of her DNA for the Na­tional DNA Data­bank. She is also pro­hib­ited from pos­sess­ing cer­tain firearms and weapons for 10 years, and others for life.

Fol­low @DShurtzHer­ald on Twit­ter

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