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Depression, drinking leads to criminal spree

Man is happy for the chance to get his life together
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A man who went on a crime spree after a tragic loss is happy to get his life back on track following a guilty plea to several charges.

ATHABASCA — The sudden and tragic loss of his child’s mother triggered severe depression in a man who went on a crime spree that resulted in a 50-day jail sentence, probation and a fine. 

In Athabasca Provincial Court Aug. 22, lawyer Andrew Zebek told Judge Joanne Heudes his client, Kyle Cardinal, made bad decisions after he started drinking heavily following the “horrific head-on collision” which took the life his two-year-old son’s mother in August 2021. 

Crown prosecutor Patricia Hankinson and Zebek agreed on a global resolution offer with Cardinal pleading guilty to specific charges from an extensive list of charges and agreeing to the recommended sentencing by the Crown. Hankinson had recommended, and Judge Heudes accepted, a global sentence of 50 days in jail; $1,000 in fines; and 12 months of probation with all the usual conditions of keeping the peace, being of good behaviour and maintaining contact with his parole officer.

It was a “gracious offer from my friend,” said Zebek. 

The first charge stemmed from a Nov. 5, 2021, incident where Cardinal threatened to kill his brother. When Athabasca RCMP later located him, Cardinal threw a pellet gun into the bush. 

On Feb. 17, 2022, Cardinal was arrested after a man reported his cell phone was missing after Cardinal left his residence. RCMP tracked the phone and executed a search warrant where he was found in possession of the stolen phone. On the same day, Hankinson said, two witnesses who knew him, including the owner of the vehicle watched Cardinal smash two windows in a van. 

On May 20, Cardinal was located by RCMP stuck in a ditch after a call from passerby and a chainsaw was found on the seat which had been stolen from Slave Lake and he was charged with possession of stolen property. The next day Cardinal was arrested for assault after he grabbed the throat of a woman, twice.

Finally, on July 19, Cardinal stole a blue Dodge truck worth $1,200 which was recovered after he was arrested, and the next day, July 20, he stole $100 from someone he was to have no contact with, so was charged with theft and breach of conditions. 

Zebek said Cardinal’s son has been living in Fort McMurray with his sister and he will be attending a residential treatment plan there as well so he can be close to him. 

“He has considerable motivation to succeed,” said Zebek, noting Cardinal has family support and was 32 days sober as of that day. “He’s looking forward to reunification of his family.” 

Judge Heudes asked Cardinal if he would like to address the court. 

“Thank you for the court’s time,” he said via CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Centre (ERC). “I was on a course of destruction. I feel like this is a second chance (and) I’m sorry for the crimes I committed and the people I offended.” 

Cardinal had been in the ERC for more than a month following is latest arrest, and with enhanced time, his jail sentence was deemed served and he was given until Aug. 31, 2023, to pay the fines while he completes residential treatment and finds work.

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