2 of 4 men accused of conspiring to murder RCMP during Coutts protest plead guilty to lesser charges
Two of the four men accused of conspiring to murder RCMP officers during the border blockade and protests at Coutts, Alta., will be released from custody today after pleading guilty to lesser charges.
On Tuesday, Jerry Morin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic firearms, and Christopher Lysak pleaded guilty to possession of a loaded restricted firearm (handgun) in an unauthorized place. The sentence for both men equals the time they've spent behind bars since their arrest nearly two years ago.
Morin and Lysak were among four men initially charged in February 2022.
In a statement to CBC News, Lysak's lawyer Daniel Song said Lysak maintains his innocence regarding the charges he faced, but pleaded to possessing "his licensed and registered handgun in a place that was not authorized."
"The offence was not on the indictment. At the conclusion of sentencing, all charges in the indictment were withdrawn against Mr. Lysak. 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 said.
"He admits that his firearm was loaded with ammunition at the time of police seizure, but denies having loaded and chambered the gun."
Song said Lysak will be released today and return home.