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Judge rules Sagmoen's arrest lawful

Curtis Sagmoen leaves the Vernon courthouse Sept. 9.
December 16, 2019 - 4:02 PM

A judge has ruled the arrest of Curtis Sagmoen in September 2017 was lawful.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames gave her ruling today, Dec. 16, at the Vernon courthouse, following several days of arguments from the defence lawyer who challenged the lawfulness of Sagmoen's arrest and subsequent search of this vehicle.

The ruling from the voir dire – a sort of trial within a trial - means items confiscated by the police, such as a cell phone, will be able to be used as evidence in the trial.

The voir dire is the third so far in the trial. Previously, defence lawyer Lisa Helps argued Sagmoen's Charter rights had been violated during his first 24 hours in custody, and that a warrant to search Sagmoen's property should not have been issued. In both cases, Justice Beames dismissed the arguments.

Sagmoen was arrested and charged in September 2017 following an incident in August 2017 where he allegedly disguised his face and pointed a gun at a sex worker near his parents' Salmon River Road property. One month after his arrest the body of Tracy Genereaux was found on the property. Police have not said how she died and no charges have been laid in relation to the case.

Over the last few days, the court has heard play-by-play accounts of the police's actions in the run-up to Sagmoen's arrest. Police decided to arrest Sagmoen at the side of the road in his vehicle after deeming an attempt to arrest Sagmoen on the property would be too dangerous.

Following his arrest, Sagmoen was charged with covering his face with intent to commit an offence, intentionally discharging a firearm while being reckless to the life or safety of another person, threatening to cause death or bodily harm while using a firearm, uttering threats and possession of methamphetamine. He pleaded not guilty to five of the charges at the beginning of the trial in September 2019.

Following Justice Beames' decision today, Dec. 16, Crown lawyer Simone McCallum called evidence from an RCMP officer who read out a selection of messages retrieved from Sagmoen's cell phone which had been sent to the complainant. The messages come from someone calling themselves “Country boy Curt” and are arranging for an escort to visit the rural property. The court heard details about each message, the time and date they were sent, as well as a definition of what an emoji is.

The defence lawyer only asked the officer a few questions regarding the messages.

“You can't tell who was using the iPhone at the time the messages were sent,” Helps asked the officer.

“That is correct,” he replied.

Following the officer's testimony, the court was adjourned. More witnesses are set to take the stand tomorrow, Dec. 17, as the trial continues.

For more stories on Curtis Sagmoen go here.

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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