Man pleads ig­no­rance to break-ins

Trot­ter sen­tenced to 15 months, or­dered to pay $30K for de­stroy­ing truck, prop­erty

Lethbridge Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Delon Shurtz LETHBRIDGE HER­ALD

Jade Levi Trot­ter didn’t know any­thing about breakins to three busi­nesses last year, and he wasn’t in pos­ses­sion of a stolen pickup truck around the same time. At least, that’s what he claimed Tues­day dur­ing his trial in Lethbridge pro­vin­cial court.

But Judge Sylvia Oishi didn’t buy his story, and sen­tenced the 34-year-old man to 15 months in jail, and or­dered him to pay resti­tu­tion of nearly $30,000 for de­stroy­ing a truck and for prop­erty dam­aged and items stolen when he and oth­ers broke into LA Chefs Cater­ing and Events, Spitz Sta­dium, and Tri­an­gle Gas and Wash in Au­gust and Septem­ber 2016.

The Crown’s key wit­ness, Jonathan Alexan­der Kogler, ad­mit­ted he was one of three men in­volved in the break-ins, and Trot­ter was an­other. Kogler tes­ti­fied they used crow­bars to break into LA Chefs, but only “checked things out.” Trot­ter and an­other man re­turned later and stole about $3,000 worth of al­co­hol.

While look­ing for an­other “good score,” the trio broke into Spitz Sta­dium and Trot­ter and the other man stole $300 worth of liquor. Trot­ter was also in on the break-in to Tri­an­gle Gas and Wash on an­other oc­ca­sion, in which he and an­other man stole more than $4,000 worth of cig­a­rettes while Kogler waited in his truck two blocks away.

“That was a pretty bad time in my life,” Kogler told court.

Kogler also said he had seen Trot­ter driv­ing a black F150 truck, which had been re­ported stolen. That truck was later found in the coulees where it had been set on fire.

Kogler, who is sched­uled to be sen­tenced next month, de­nied de­fence ac­cu­sa­tions that he was ly­ing to pro­tect his girl­friend, who worked at LA Chefs at the time, and had given the men a de­scrip­tion of the busi­ness. He also de­nied a sug­ges­tion he had made a deal with po­lice for his state­ment in­crim­i­nat­ing Trot­ter.

Trot­ter’s de­fence was brief. When asked if he was in­volved in any of the break-ins, he sim­ply said no. In fact, he said he didn’t even know where LA Chefs or Spitz Sta­dium is lo­cated, even though he has lived in Lethbridge for all but two years of his life.

Lawyer Mi­randa Hlady told court that even though Kogler ad­mit­ted he was in­volved in the crimes and im­pli­cated Trot­ter, there is noth­ing — no videos or fin­ger­prints — ty­ing her client to any of the break-ins or to the pos­ses­sion of the stolen truck.

Oishi, how­ever, said Kogler’s tes­ti­mony is cred­i­ble and he has no rea­son to lie about Trot­ter’s in­volve­ment. She also noted Trot­ter’s crim­i­nal record, which is two decades long and com­prises nu­mer­ous prop­erty re­lated of­fences.

Fol­low @DelonHer­ald on Twit­ter

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