Alta. man charged with shooting Mounties gets bail
Published Thursday, June 28, 2012 12:02PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 29, 2012 12:26AM EDT
A judge has granted bail to a man charged with the attempted murder of two Alberta Mounties.
Sawyer Clarke Robison is to be released from custody Friday.
He was originally denied bail in April but applied to the courts again. Late Wednesday, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain in Wetaskiwin approved bail on $100,000.
Details of the bail hearing cannot be revealed due to a publication ban.
Defence lawyer Brian Beresh said "in these circumstances, granting bail was appropriate."
He said Robison is not a danger to the community.
"My client is extremely happy and this affords him the opportunity now to prepare his case more easily and to establish his innocence," Beresh said Thursday.
He added that Robison must abide by a long list of bail conditions that include living on a neighbour's farm near Killam, abiding by a curfew and not having contact with the two wounded officers unless there is a police emergency.
According to the local newspaper, the two injured Mounties recently returned to work at the Killam detachment.
The RCMP said in a statement they respect the judge's decision and had no further comment.
An Alberta Justice spokeswoman said the Crown is considering an appeal on the bail decision.
Constables Sheldon Shah and Sid Gaudette were shot and wounded on Feb. 7 when they went to execute a search warrant at Robison's family farm near the small town of Killam, southeast of Edmonton.
Police said at the time that Robison was inside the house during the shooting, then drove off in a pickup truck. His uncle, Brad Clarke, was found dead inside following a lengthy standoff.
Three days later, Robison was peacefully taken into custody on a rural road in the area. RCMP credited his parents who made a public plea through the media asking their boy to turn himself in.
The 27-year-old was also charged with additional weapons offences, including possession of a prohibited, loaded, restricted firearm and possession of a firearm with altered or defaced serial numbers.
Area residents have described Robison as a quiet photographer and musician who lived with his uncle on the farm while his parents lived in another home on the same property. Many struggled to understand what could have sparked the shooting, calling them a "normal, farm family."
Beresh said about 80 people from the community showed up at Robison's bail hearing -- all to support his release.
Jae Robbins with The Community Press newspaper said residents aren't taking sides between the Robison family and the RCMP. Even those who support Robison support the officers.
"There are no lines drawn. There is no war. People support both," said Robbins.
"How do you pick a side? They're all members of our small community."