Case dismissed against Vernon men charged in violent targeted attack | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Case dismissed against Vernon men charged in violent targeted attack

December 13, 2019 - 2:10 PM

A judge has discharged three men charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking a man in a downtown Vernon apartment as neither surveillance footage or witnesses could solidly identify them.

In a B.C. Provincial Court decision Dec. 11, Judge Richard Hewson ruled the case against Allan Clayton Gabriel Jules, Allan Michel Jules and Cody Alan MacDonald could not continue to trial as there was not enough evidence for a jury to return a guilty verdict.

The ruling comes even after Allan Jules absconded and did not turn up to court.

According to the decision, in January 2019 the three men allegedly entered a unit at the Blair Apartments in Vernon and, with their faces concealed by the hoods of their jackets, attacked Rob Hill. The assault was quick and left Hill with a wound to his head and in need of medical attention. An earlier RCMP media release described the assault as targeted and the injuries as "serious" and "severe."

Hill had been given liquor by a neighbour on the night he was attacked and was "angry and intoxicated" and told his neighbour he was "going to beat somebody." While Hill was at his neighbour's apartment a number of men entered and assaulted him. Hill made his way to the manager's office who called the police.

During their investigation police identified Mike Jules (the court documents use an alias) and Cody MacDonald from surveillance footage taken at the nearby Fruit Union Plaza shortly before the assault.

The court documents do not say how Allan Jules was identified.

The three elected for trial in the B.C. Supreme Court, however, Allan Jules absconded and failed to appear at the preliminary inquiry.

A Crown witness, who had been issued with a subpoena, also did not appear in court and the Crown applied for a warrant for her arrest.

At the inquiry, Hill failed to describe in any detail the men who assaulted him and could not identify Mike Jules or Cody MacDonald who were present in the courtroom.

Video surveillance taken at 4:51 p.m. shows three people arriving at the apartment block and walking across the parking lot. The footage is in black and white, grainy, and of poor definition. The three are seen again on the footage two minutes later, all wearing baseball caps and bulky winter clothing. None of their facial features can be seen.

However, the footage taken at the apartments shows the men wearing slightly different clothing, largely jackets and baseball caps, from the footage taken at the Fruit Union Plaza used to identify the suspects.

Judge Hewson ruled from this evidence it would not be reasonable to conclude that Mike Jules and Cody MacDonald were among the three people at the Blair Apartments and therefore "no reasonable jury" would be able to return a guilty verdict.

The judge also ruled there was no evidence against Allan Jules and the fact that he had absconded was not evidence enough to prove that he participated in the assault.

Ultimately, the three accused men were discharged.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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