Crown calls no evidence on extortion charges

Gary
Gary Kean
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Two men from Ontario accused with trying to extort a Corner Brook man have had the charges against them dismissed.

Ryan Robert Allan St. Pierre, 23, and Gary Jacob Watcheston, 25, were arrested in Corner Brook in late March.

Each of them was charged with a single count of extortion, while St. Pierre was also charged with breaching probation. It was reported at the time the charges were linked to the targetted man being pressured to give the two accused men $300,000.

St. Pierre and Watcheston were released on bail conditions following their arrest, but there was an application before provincial court in Corner Brook on Friday’s docket involving one of their sureties. The surety, who had posted a $5,000 bond for Watcheston to be released, was applying to be removed as his surety.

When the matter was called before Judge Catherine Allen-Westby, Crown attorney John Noseworthy indicated to the court that his office had reviewed all of the evidence in the case and had concluded there was no reasonable likelihood of the conviction of either Watcheston or St. Pierre.

Once Noseworthy said the Crown intended to call no evidence in the matters, defence lawyer Robby Ash asked Allen-Westby for a directed verdict to acquit both men.

With the Crown having no case, the judge dismissed the charges again both Watcheston and St. Pierre, making the surety’s application to withdraw unnecessary.

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Ontario

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