Calgary

Day-long Morley standoff charges dropped, lawyers allege RCMP had 'tunnel vision'

Charges have been stayed against two men accused of a day-long armed standoff in Morley, which saw two schools evacuated and gunshots fired from within a home. Defence lawyers for one of the accused blames the RCMP for "tunnel vision."

2 schools evacuated, gunshots fired from within a home in standoff last year

A close-up picture of an RCMP badge.
All charges were dropped against two Morley men accused in a 2018 armed standoff in the community. (CBC)

Charges have been stayed against two men accused of a day-long armed standoff in Morley.

The standoff saw two schools evacuated and gunshots fired from within a home.

Defence lawyers for one of the accused now blame the RCMP for having "tunnel vision" in the investigation.

Credibility, witness cooperation

Sedrick Marian Powderface, 33, and Sidney Dion Wesley-Beaver, 24, were charged with a total of 23 offences in January 2018. 

The two were supposed to go on trial this week but prosecutor Mac Vomberg issued a stay. He cited issues with what he described as the credibility and lack of cooperation of a key witness.

On January 25, 2018, RCMP responded to the incident, which escalated into an armed and barricaded situation in the First Nations community.

'Fraught with errors,' lawyer says

There also were problems with the investigation, said lawyers Shamsher Kothari and Curtis Mennie, who represented Powderface.

"After receiving disclosure, we realized the RCMP investigation was fraught with errors and really came down to a tunnel vision-style investigation," Kothari said Tuesday.

Powderface was denied bail, and has been living at the Calgary Remand Centre since his arrest.

"For a year, he had to wait in custody only to have his charge stayed," Mennie said.

Wesley-Beaver was represented by defence lawyer Allan Fay.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is a justice affairs reporter. She has been covering courts, crime and stories of police accountability in southern Alberta for more than a decade. Send Meghan a story tip at meghan.grant@cbc.ca or follow her on Twitter.

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