Two men accused of conspiring to murder Mounties during Coutts border blockade plead guilty to reduced charges
Two of the suspects charged with conspiring to murder Mounties during the Coutts border protest pleaded guilty Tuesday to reduced charges.
Christopher Lysak admitted a charge of possession of a weapon in an unauthorized place, and Jerry Morin admitted a charge of conspiracy to traffic firearms in connection with the protest against COVID-19 mandates in February 2022.
Justice Vaughan Hartigan accepted a joint recommendation by Crown prosecutors and defence counsel Daniel Song and Greg Dunn for both men to be handed the equivalent of sentences of time in custody.
That amounted to a three-year sentence for Lysak and about 3 1/2 years for Morin, the Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench judge was told.
It’s normal for accused persons on remand to get 1.5 days credit for every day served. Morin was given enhanced credit for spending periods of time in solitary confinement.
Two other accused, Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick, remain in custody on allegations they conspired to murder members of the RCMP who were policing the border protest at the Coutts international crossing into Montana.
They’re scheduled to stand trial in June.
Dunn issued a written statement on behalf of Morin following the court proceeding, indicating he could not comment at length due to the ongoing litigation against the other two accused.
“Mr. Morin has steadfastly maintained from the very beginning that he played no part of any alleged conspiracy to murder police officers and is relieved and grateful that those charges, and associated allegations, have been withdrawn by the Crown,” Dunn wrote.
“Moreover, the charge that Mr. Morin plead guilty to does not suggest that Mr. Morin at any time took firearms into Coutts, only that he agreed to.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Morin has spent two years of his life in custody awaiting this day.”