2 accused in Coutts blockade plead guilty to lesser charges

Article originally appeared in: Global News
View Article
2 accused in Coutts blockade plead guilty to lesser charges

Two of the four men charged with conspiracy to murder following the February 2022 Coutts border blockade have pleaded guilty to lesser charges, according to their lawyers and the Crown.

In a statement to Global News, the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS) said Chris Lysak and Jerry Morin entered guilty pleas in a Lethbridge court on Tuesday to firearms related charges.

On Feb. 15, 2022, Alberta RCMP said Lysak and Morin, along with Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief, in connection with the blockade near the village of Coutts, Alta., earlier that month. RCMP also said Lysak was charged with uttering threats.

In an email, Lysak’s counsel Daniel J. Song said Lysak maintains his innocence regarding all the charges.

Song said Lysak pleaded guilty to possessing a licensed and registered handgun in a place that was not authorized and said that at the conclusion of the sentencing, all the charges of the indictment were withdrawn.

“To be clear, Mr. Lysak did not admit to possessing his handgun for a dangerous purpose. He did not attend the Coutts protests with the intent to harm anyone,” Song, who was hired by Lysak in November 2023, said. “He admits that his firearm was loaded with ammunition at the time of police seizure, but denies having loaded and chambered the gun.”

An agreed statement of facts says Lysak, who is from Lethbridge, learned about the convoy and decided to head to Coutts.