Drama at court

Man lunges over bar­rier into plex­i­glass dur­ing court hear­ing Fri­day in Belleville, doesn’t want lawyer.

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - FRONT PAGE - JA­SON MILLER jamiller@post­media.com

A city man, who the judge said was hang­ing with the wrong crowd, nar­rowly missed time in the pen­i­ten­tiary when he ac­cepted guilt for a large amount of co­caine stashed in an apart­ment con­nected to sev­eral guns found.

Tyler Lyons’ co-ac­cused, Christo­pher Lewis, re­mains be­fore the courts in re­la­tion to the case where po­lice were called by a neigh­bour after a shot­gun shell blew a hole in the floor sep­a­rat­ing him from Lyons’ up­per-floor apart­ment last Au­gust.

Lyons was sen­tenced to 18 months.

Crown at­tor­ney Adam Ze­gouras said, “Mr. Lyons plead guilty to unau­tho­rized pos­ses­sion of a weapon and pos­ses­sion of co­caine for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing.”

Facts heard in court Fri­day in­di­cate po­lice not­ing Lyons was try­ing to take the fall for his co-ac­cused.

Lyons, 25, told po­lice he was re­spon­si­ble for the drugs and was aware of the weapons be­ing present even though he didn’t ac­cept own­er­ship of the pro­hib­ited weapons.

Ze­gouras sought a three-year term stat­ing a “sig­nif­i­cant amount of co­caine was found. When some­one is in pos­ses­sion of firearms in the con­text of drug deal­ing, those of­fences should at­tract sig­nif­i­cant and long-term penal­ties.”

That’s in spite of Lyons’ lim­ited crim­i­nal record.

“Mr. Lyons comes be­fore the court ba­si­cally as a first of­fender. He’s never been in cus­tody be­fore,” said Jus­tice Stephen Hunter.

“He was in the com­pany of an­other per­son who he should have not as­so­ci­ated with,” the judge said.

“He ex­er­cised some con­trol for the items and there­fore has to be held ac­count­able for that. In my view, it’s on the lower end of the scale,” Hunter said. “A sub­stan­tial cus­to­dial de­po­si­tion is war­ranted, but not one that would see him go to the pen­i­ten­tiary.”

De­fence lawyer Ed Kafka said his client plead guilty with­out fac­ing the prospect of a cer­tain conviction, de­spite the Crown stat­ing they had an air-tight case.

“This gen­tle­man did not dis­charge any firearms,” he said. “The hand gun and the shot­gun were not found in the res­i­dence. It was found in a stor­age unit in the base­ment. There are no fin­ger­prints re­lated to my client found on any of the firearms.”

He did say Lyons plead guilty be­cause he ad­mit­ted to ex­er­cis­ing some level of con­trol over the weapons.

Kafka said the pre­sump­tion is the large quan­tity of co­caine would be dis­trib­uted for sale.

“I asked the court to keep in mind this gen­tle­man’s very lim­ited record,” he said. “Take in to ac­count his youth.”

The On­tario scholar and Ni­chol­son Catholic Col­lege grad at­tended col­lege for weld­ing. He in­stalled high-se­cu­rity fire alarms at two pen­i­ten­tiaries.

“Up un­til this par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stance this young man was go­ing in the right di­rec­tion,” he said.

He said Lyons also used the sub­stance and started min­gling with the wrong crowd.

“My client was try­ing to take the blame for ev­ery­thing,” he said. “These are his in­struc­tion and I re­spect those in­struc­tions.”

The de­fence sought a pe­riod of 12 to 18-months, so Lyons could seek treat­ment in the pro­vin­cial sys­tem.

After the gun was dis­charged po­lice im­me­di­ately ob­tained a search war­rant and en­tered the res­i­dence where Lewis, Lyons and two other fe­male ac­cused were found. The charges have since been dropped against the women.

Crown at­tor­ney Ze­gouras told the courts dur­ing the wee hours of Aug. 9, 2016, “there was a shot­gun dis­charged at Char­lotte Street.”

“When they ex­e­cuted the search war­rant they found 45.7 grams of co­caine, 15.3 grams of mar­i­juana,” he said.

Sev­eral weapons were also seized, in­clud­ing “a re­volver hand gun, a shot­gun and am­mu­ni­tion for a num­ber of weapons, in­clud­ing the shot gun but not the hand gun,” Ze­gouras said.

INTELLIGENCER FILE PHOTO

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