Charges stayed in dog beating case
Court: No witnesses to testify against accused
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 03:23 pm
Charges against a man accused of breaking a dog’s jaw and legs were stayed when the Crown was not able to produce any civilian witnesses.
Judge Eugene Creighton stayed the charges against William Daniel Goyette, 20, during the preliminary hearing on Oct. 9. Goyette traveled from Quebec to attend the hearing. A stay means the Crown has a year to bring back the charges if new evidence is found.
The charges stem from an incident earlier this year when a 12-week-old blue-heeler border collie was brought to the Diamond Valley Vet Clinic in Black Diamond with broken bones for the second time. A Calgary veterinary surgeon was brought in to operate on the dog to repair broken front legs and a fractured jaw.
Goyette, who was working as a ranch hand in the Turner Valley area at the time, was the owner of the dog.
Crown prosecutor Richelle Freiheit asked the court for an adjournment when no civilian witnesses showed up for the preliminary hearing.
Two of the witnesses are from southern Alberta and another, from Quebec, was supposed to testify by CCTV. The Quebec witness did not attend the location where the closed circuit TV interview from Quebec, would take place.
Freiheit told the court that if just one witness would have showed up, she believed she would have had enough evidence to proceed and likely to go on to trial.
Goyette’s lawyer George Sirois argued against any adjournment.
“We could see a repeat of this, we could see the Crown go 0 for 3 again,” Sirois told the court. “Mr. Goyette is here and he has taken all the necessary steps to be here.”
Sirois said Goyette’s father, who is ill with cancer, also made the trek from Quebec to support his son in Okotoks court.
Sirois added if an adjournment was given, his client would have to make another trip from Quebec for the preliminary hearing. If enough evidence was given at the hearing, his client would have to fly out again for trial.
Creighton said he was not confident the Crown would have witnesses if the adjournment was granted and denied the adjournment. Charges were then stayed.
Brigitte Blais of Dog Early Warning System in Okotoks, attending the hearing and said she was disappointed with the outcome.
“I am disappointed, but as long as he gets some help so this doesn’t happen again, I will be okay,” she said. “I don’ think throwing him in jail would do any use.”
Heather Anderson, from the Daisy Foundation in Calgary, agreed.
I just want him to get help and that he has the support of family in Quebec,” she said.
After the hearing, a friend of Goyette's family approached Anderson and said he would like to call her in the future.
The blue-heeler collie, nicknamed Lucky, has been adopted by a Calgary family and made a public appearance during Dog Days in Turner Valley in August.