Ac­cused a flight risk, says lawyer

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had been stolen from a car rental agency in the St. John’s area sev­eral days ear­lier. RCMP were able to link the sec­ond in­ci­dent to the male ar­rested ear­lier that day in con­nec­tion with the ATV theft.

As a re­sult of the sec­ond in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the de­fen­dant faced ad­di­tional charges of pos­ses­sion of prop­erty ob­tained by crime over $5,000 and mis­chief over $5,000, when he ap­peared be­fore Judge Smith last Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pre­sented dur­ing his bail hear­ing, the de­fen­dant is al­leged to have used the ve­hi­cle, a Ford Fu­sion SEL, stolen from Avis Ren­tal, to tow the ATV to Job’s Cove. A lock was bro­ken in the process of re­mov­ing the new ATV from its ship­ping con­tainer at Coastal and a trailer strap was also dam­aged.

Prob­lem?

On the wit­ness stand, the de­fen­dant ram­bled about hav­ing a lawyer com­ing from Toronto, which prompted le­gal aid lawyer Rose­mary Daw­son to ask him: “ What’s your prob­lem?”

Ed­munds replied he had “no prob­lem,” adding, “if this bail hear­ing don’t work out, I can get a lawyer from Toronto.”

It was re­vealed in court Ed­munds has a lengthy crim­i­nal record in­volv­ing some 20 con­vic­tions un­der the Crim­i­nal Code be­tween 1982 and 2009.

The fa­ther of three lived in On­tario for 40 years be­fore re­turn­ing to re­side in his par­ents’ (de­ceased) home in Bay de Verde.

Asked what he did for a liv­ing, the ac­cused told the court he man­aged a rub­ber com­pany in On­tario, un­til a work­place in­jury forced him onto work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion.

When Judge Smith asked him what was his in­come from work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion, he replied, “al­most $4,000 a month.”

No prob­lem

Asked if he had any prob­lem with stay­ing away from Coastal Out­doors, he replied: “I have no rea­son to go there. I have no prob­lem with stay­ing away from Car­bon­ear, and am pre­pared to keep the peace.”

Telling the judge he “never failed to ap­pear” in his life, Ed­munds tried to as­sure Judge Smith that, if al­lowed out on bail, “there’s no chance of me run­ning. I’m not go­ing to run nowhere.

“I apol­o­gized for what I done — it was stupid,” Ed­munds told the court.

Asked if he had any­thing to of­fer as a surety, the de­fen­dant of­fered to put up his Bay de Verde home, which he said is val­ued at $75,000.

When the judge asked him about al­co­hol and drug use, he said, “I don’t drink or use drugs.”

If al­lowed out on bail, he promised, “in the new year I’ll plead guilty and get this over with. I’ll do my time. C’est la vie!”

Strong case

Crown at­tor­ney Shawn Pet­ten ar­gued the crown has a strong case against the de­fen­dant, who is “ likely look­ing at sig­nif­i­cant jail time. He does have time on his hands and is a po­ten­tial flight risk.”

In light of the “ bold­ness” of the re­cent of­fences, Pet­ten sug­gested, “I think this is a se­ri­ous is­sue, which he is not tak­ing too se­ri­ously,” and there is also a risk to com­mit other of­fences.

Judge Smith agreed, ob­serv­ing, “ there are six counts here ( lat­est charges) in­volv­ing two ve­hi­cles. And the judge said he found 20 pri­ors in­clud­ing per­jury and ob­struc­tion of jus­tice.” Look­ing at the de­fen­dant’s record, he also ob­served some of the of­fences ap­peared to be al­co­hol re­lated.

“I feel, given your ex­ten­sive record and cav­a­lier at­ti­tude, you’re re­manded.

Ed­munds left the court­room un­der po­lice es­cort. But not be­fore of­fer­ing some part­ing words: “F—k yous all!”

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