R v P & V (2017)
A police officer received information from a confidential informant that P and V were trafficking cocaine and the drugs were stored at the residence of P’s relatives. The police set up surveillance and obtained a tracking warrant to install a GPS device on P’s vehicle. P and V were seen at three different residences and followed to other areas of the city. The police believed the trips were to conclude drug deals. Based on the surveillance and informant information the police obtained three search warrants for the residences. When the police arrived at the residences to execute the warrants V was seen leaving one of them with a red shopping bag. He drove to another residence and went in with the bag. The police then entered and P was found sitting in the living room next to a red bag that contained cocaine and heroin. A pretrial challenge to the admissibility of the evidence obtained by execution of the search warrants will be brought.
R v W (2016)
A school bus driver spotted a frozen body near the side of a rural road in central Alberta and called the police. The deceased died from multiple stab wounds and was reported missing. W was arrested the next day driving the deceased’s truck in a city south of the scene. He was with a group of drinking companions. Witnesses who were with W the night before the body was found all said he was drinking heavily. Mr Rice retained a forensic psychologist who concluded that W was incapable of forming the specific intent to commit murder due to alcohol consumption. Based on the anticipated eye witness testimony, and the expert opinion of the psychologist, the Crown Attorney accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter on the morning of jury selection. The case was adjourned for the preparation of briefs and a pre-sentence report. The sentence hearing has been scheduled in 2017.
R v T (2016)
Mr Rice has been retained by one of twelve defendants who were arrested following an investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) and Calgary police. The police executed seven search warrants that resulted in the seizure of cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin valued at $5M. The investigation also consisted of a wiretap component that targeted specific suspects in the investigation. A total of 66 charges were laid including conspiracy, drug trafficking and organized crime offences. The police also seized property including luxury automobiles that is the subject of civil forfeiture proceedings. The police allege that a high level group was operating a sophisticated drug network throughout Calgary and other locations in Alberta. Investigators were quoted in the media as stating that the defendants include manufacturers, suppliers and street level traffickers. A trial date has been set for 2017 in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary.
R v A (2016)
In this homicide case L and P were charged with second degree murder following the death of H who was a fellow inmate in a remand centre. Mr Rice was retained by A who was charged with being an accessory after the fact. L and P were subsequently committed to stand trial on a count of manslaughter at their preliminary inquiry and the Crown Attorney then obtained a direct Indictment charging A with being the accessory. The state alleged that A assisted in a cover up by mopping the scene on the range outside H’s cell where he was found severely beaten. An investigator concluded that the floor was presumptively tracked with H’s blood. Mr Rice initiated a forensic examination of the mop that A was seen using on a video surveillance camera. The mop tested negative for blood, there was no DNA to be examined and the state’s case unravelled. The Crown Attorney stayed the charge.
R v K C & F (2016)
Mr Rice has been retained by one of the three defendants in this homicide case involving charges of second degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of an indictable offence and assault with a weapon. A motor vehicle with five occupants pulled into a strip mall at night and stopped in a secluded parking lot. D was in the backseat with his girlfriend. Another girl was in the front passenger seat. Two masked men armed with handguns and carrying baseball bats got out of a vehicle that stopped behind them. The girl in the front fled when the masked men closed in, opened the driver’s side rear door and began assaulting D with the bats. D was then fatally shot in the chest. The vehicle sped away from the scene to a condominium parking lot where D’s body was dropped on the pavement near a garbage bin shelter. The vehicle then disappeared into the night. The media reported that the shooting was fuelled by a drug debt. A date for a preliminary inquiry has not been set.