Man who threatened ‘machine gun attack’ at Stampede faces sentencing

A man who pleaded guilty to threatening to kill hundreds of people at last year’s Calgary Stampede will be sentenced in April.

[The Accused], 29, was charged with uttering death threats in connection with an e-mail sent to the Calgary Fire Department in late May. The message indicated there was going to be a “machine gun attack” that would result in more than 1,000 people dead.

At the time the email was sent, Deegan was on a 12-month peace bond in connection with a domestic incident, said his lawyer Greg Dunn.

During the course of their investigation into the e-mail, police determined [The Accused] was in breach of some of the bond’s conditions, including possession of unauthorized firearms, and additional charges were laid.

[The Accused] pleaded guilty to the charges in January.

“These firearms were all legally purchased and legally acquired initially,” Dunn said in a phone interview Saturday, a day after sentencing arguments were heard in court.

“He had accrued a peace bond by virtue of a domestic incident that he had with his common-law spouse. A condition of the peace bond was that he had to give up the firearms for the duration of the peace bond.”

Dunn said his client moved the firearms out of his residence but was found to still have control and access to them, and was therefore found to be in breach of his condition.

The Crown is asking for three to five years, while Dunn is asking for probation.

Dunn said he feels the case was “over-sensationalized.”

“It was a pretty stupid e-mail for him to send. But at the end of the day, there was nothing that pointed to this was a credible threat,” he said, adding Deegan took no further steps of carrying out the crime.

“I regarded it as a hoax e-mail where people say, ‘Hey, a bomb is going to go off or we planted a bomb in the train station.’ The modern day evolution of those sorts of crimes.”