Man jailed for Calgary Stampede threats

A man who threatened to use a machine gun to kill more than 1,000 people at last year’s Calgary Stampede has been sentenced to two years in jail.

[The Accused] sent an e-mail to the Calgary fire department threatening to use semi-automatic weapons at the Stampede.

“There was a time when such threats might be ignored, but not anymore,” provincial court Judge Joanne Durant said in sentencing Deegan.

[The Accused], 29, had pleaded guilty to uttering threats and violating a court order to not possess weapons.

He gave a tearful apology from the prisoner’s box.

“I breached the trust of my family and the public. I’m sorry for that,” he said.

Crown prosecutor Aurelie Beland had argued for a total sentence of three to four years. Defence lawyer Greg Dunn said the nine months already served in custody since his arrest was sufficient.

“This particular individual was someone who suffered from a bit of stress,” Dunn said outside court. “He suffers from some control with respect to doing impulsive actions and he was drinking heavily at the time. It was something that was impulsive and he’s really paid the price for his impetuousness today.”

Dunn said his client had witnessed a patron shoot and kill himself while he was working at the Shooting Edge range a couple of years prior to the e-mail, but Deegan was not working there at the time of the threats.

Beland said such threats have a great impact on the community at large.

“He made the threats and he had the means to execute the threats. He had a number of firearms,” Beland said outside court. “One firearm particularly could have been disassembled and brought to the Stampede to be readily used for executing those threats.”

[The Accused]’s weapons, originally purchased legally with a firearms acquisition certificate, were surrendered to the Crown to be destroyed. Dunn said he had a single-shot bolt-action rifle, a handgun and two semi-automatic rifles.

[The Accused] was also given 30 days consecutive for one breach of a peace bond related to a domestic incident, and one day on another breach of the peace bond. The judge placed him on probation for three years after his release.