WESTLOCK – An area man facing 30-plus charges ranging from drug trafficking to possession of a restricted weapon and flight from police in relation to a spring 2021 incident will be tried in an Edmonton courtroom.
Following close to a 60-minute preliminary hearing in Westlock Provincial Court Jan. 12, Judge Robert Shaigec, presiding via Webex from St. Albert Provincial Court, agreed there was enough evidence for Darcy Allan Kandt to stand trial on 32 charges that include 13 failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking, eight counts of possession of a prohibited firearm, three possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking charges and two counts of obstructing a peace officer. Single counts faced by Kandt include flight from a peace officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property under $5,000, careless use/storage of firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited/restricted weapon and possession of a firearm that’s had its serial number removed.
The charges stem from incidents on March 20-21, 2021, in the Westlock area.
Meanwhile, two failing to comply with release condition charges from a separate information dated March 2021 were moved to the Jan. 26 Westlock court date when they’ll be dealt with summarily, said defence lawyer David Keyes.
Kandt, who’s currently behind bars at the Edmonton Remand Centre and appeared in court via CCTV, will now be arraigned in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench Feb. 25 on the 32-count information — a trial date will be set following. Keyes, who previously entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of Kandt, had requested trial by Court of Queen’s Bench judge and jury which necessitated the preliminary hearing, which are only offered on cases that involve indictable offences.
Although the Westlock News is barred from reporting testimony at the prelim, general details of the hearing can be reported — simply, a preliminary hearing is a hearing to decide whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.
Federal Crown prosecutor Erwin Schulz called only two witnesses, the RCMP officers who handled the case — one is still employed at the Westlock RCMP Detachment, while the second has left the force and is now working as police officer in B.C. Both, who collectively spent close to 50 minutes testifying, appeared via Webex.
Keyes, who did cross-examine both Crown witnesses, did not call any witnesses to the stand.