A number of co-accused in a kidnapping case from May 2011 pleaded guilty to some of their charges on Monday.
A week-long preliminary inquiry was scheduled to begin Monday during Estevan provincial court, but five of seven the co-accused decided to change their pleas to guilty.
Spencer Persson, Ronald Himmelspeck and Dustin MacNeil each pleaded guilty to a count of forcible confinement and assault causing bodily harm, while Amanda Knebush and Jessica Smith pleaded guilty to forcible confinement.
All individuals were originally facing several more charges, as the three men faced several counts of forcible confinement, assault causing bodily harm, break and enter, use of a firearm in the commission of an offence and extortion. Both women were also charged with those same offences, minus the break and enter charges.
Those charges have not been stayed by the Crown.
The five local residents were arrested over the May long weekend last year, along with Creston Hanson who did not reverse his not guilty pleas. The seventh co-accused, Mark Davis, who has also maintained his not guilty pleas, was arrested July 8, 2011 in British Columbia.
Davis and Hanson face three counts of forcible confinement, assault causing bodily harm, extortion, break and enter, uttering threats as well as one count of use of a firearm in the commission of an offence. They will both appear back in court on Aug. 20, and it will be determined how they will proceed. If their matters proceed to trial, they have elected a trial by judge and jury at the Court of Queen’s Bench.
Sentencing for the five accused who pleaded guilty is expected on Sept. 10.
In other court proceedings, Randy Clark was in custody again following a recent arrest.
Originally from Wood Buffalo, Clark was sentenced in Estevan at the end of June for fraud and forgery charges, receiving a conditional sentence order, which included 12 months of probation. It was noted Clark has an extensive previous record totalling about 80 offences.
The Crown alleges new fraud and forgery charges along with breaches of his probation. A show-cause hearing was held to determine if Clark would be released while he awaits a trial, and presiding Judge James Benison ruled against Clark’s release, remanding him in custody until July 26 when trial dates may be canvassed.
The Crown decided to proceed by indictment, which comes with stiffer penalties, and Clark elected a trial by provincial court.