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Fear of COVID-19 not a good reason for bail for teen accused of Sudbury attempted murder

Keshaun Halovich one of five people charged in Feb. 9 incident on Whittaker Street

A Toronto teenager accused of attempted murder in Greater Sudbury couldn’t use COVID-19 as a reason to get bail from Sudbury District Jail, a judge has ruled.

Superior Court Justice Alex Kurke dismissed an appeal from Keshaun Halovich, one of five people charged in a Feb. 9 incident on Whittaker Street that wounded two men. 

Combined, the five suspects face 51 charges with 11 offences including attempted murder with a firearm, weapons dangerous, prohibited device, possession of a firearm without being the holder of a licence, pointing a firearm, possession of a loaded prohibited firearm and being masked with intent.

Halovich was denied bail in March during a special bail hearing. His lawyer, Robert Beckett, said following that hearing, his client intended to appeal the decision. 

Halovich revised his plan after he was denied bail to incorporate the use of an ankle bracelet so his whereabouts could be monitored, and pointed to the dangers of COVID-19 pandemic as a further material change.

In his decision, Kurke said an ankle bracelet adds no material assistance in the circumstances of this case, that his proposed sureties are insufficient to control the significant risks, and there is no credible or trustworthy evidence Halovich would suffer severe health consequences as a result of COVID-19, even if he acquires it, 

Kurke said the charges in this case are very serious, involving attempted murder and numerous gun and weapon charges. He said an ankle bracelet cannot warn authorities about telephone or internet or physical contact with Crown witnesses or criminal associates, and is not “a material change in the context of an individual prepared to be a party to such alleged gangsterism.”

As for COVID-19, Kurke said there is no evidence Halovich is at a heightened risk of serious illness if he was infected with the virus, nor does the “limited evidence of (Halovich’s) substance use” prove he is immuno-compromised, therefore, more susceptible to the virus. 

“Although we all will have our own individual fears about the virus, a plea for release based on those fears should be sustained by some evidence of actual susceptibility,” Kurke said in his decision.

“In the absence of a viable plan, even in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, all the factors considered at bail strongly favour and continue to strongly favour detention, in order to maintain confidence in the administration of Justice,” Kurke ruled.

Co-accused Cameron Alimina, 20, of Toronto, faces the same charges and remains in custody. 

Richard Derouin, 24, of Greater Sudbury, also remains in custody. He faces just the weapon charge.

Lauren Miller, 24, and Shamika Ross, 22, both of Greater Sudbury are out on bail and face only the weapon charge.

According to Greater Sudbury Police, just before 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 9, police attended a call regarding a weapons complaint at a home on Whittaker Street. Police were told a man had been shot and the person responsible had fled the scene.

When officers arrived on scene, they confirmed a 24-year-old man had a serious gunshot wound. He was taken to hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

Police were told multiple individuals were seen fleeing the complex on foot and getting into a dark vehicle. The caller was able to provide a licence plate.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division located the vehicle in a parking lot off of Lasalle Boulevard. They saw an individual running out of the bush at that location and getting back into the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle then drove down Lasalle Boulevard, heading towards Azilda.

Officers stopped the vehicle at a red light at the intersection of Municipal Road 35 and Marier Street. Officers conducted a high-risk vehicle stop, where members of the tactical unit were able to remove all five of the individuals from inside the vehicle.

The K9 Unit was dispatched to the wooded area behind the parking lot of Lasalle Boulevard, where the firearm believed to have been used in the shooting was located.

While at the hospital, officers were alerted by staff that a second man had arrived at the hospital having sustained a gunshot wound.


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Arron Pickard

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