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Alberta

RCMP Major Crimes Unit investigate suspicious death – Adam Pearson still wanted

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RCMP Major Crimes Unit investigate suspicious death – Adam Pearson still wanted

Grande Prairie, Alta. – The RCMP Major Crimes Unit are continuing to seek public assistance in locating Adam Pearson (26) who is wanted for the First Degree Murder of Cody Michaloski.

In October 2019, the Major Crimes Unit launched an investigation in the death of Cody Michaloski. The investigation led to first degree murder charges against Benjamin Pearson (25) who was arrested in Kelowna, and Adam Pearson, who has still not been located.

Adam Pearson

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes are asking the public’s assistance in locating Adam Pearson. It is believed that he may have tried to alter his appearance, including dying his hair. Pearson is known to have ties to the Toronto area, and throughout B.C. and Alberta.  Information provided to date is that he uses Air B & Bs and hotel/motels, and might go by the nickname “Red”.

Please do not approach Pearson, but contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or your local police, if you see him or know his whereabouts. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

Background:

May 28, 2020

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes RCMP investigate suspicious death – Update #2

Kelowna, B.C. – Following a lengthy homicide investigation into the death of Cody Michaloski in October 2019, in Grande Prairie, Alta., Alberta RCMP Major Crimes executed two search warrants and an arrest warrant on May 27, 2020, in Kelowna, BC.

Benjamin Pearson (25) of Kelowna was arrested on May 27, 2020, in Kelowna. He is charged with the First Degree Murder of Cody Michaloski. Pearson’s arrest was made possible with the work of the South East District, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia (CFSEU-B.C.), and the assistance of, South East District RCMP Emergency Response Team and the Kelowna RCMP Forensic Identification Section.

Benjamin Pearson is awaiting his return to Alberta for a bail hearing into this matter before the Edmonton Provincial Courts at a date yet to be determined.

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes have also obtained an arrest warrant for Adam Pearson (26), whose whereabouts are unknown, for the First Degree Murder of Cody Michaloski.

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes are asking the public’s assistance in locating Adam Pearson. Please do not approach Adam Pearson, but contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or your local police.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.”

Further updates will be provide when additional information is available.

October 15, 2019

Grande Prairie RCMP investigate suspicious death – Update #1

Grande Prairie, Alta. – The adult male victim has been identified as Cody Michaloski (28) of Grande Prairie. Michaloski’s family has been notified. The Edmonton medical examiner completed an autopsy and determined the death to be a homicide.

Edmonton Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate this incident.

No further information is available at this time.

 

Oct. 13, 2019

Grande Prairie RCMP investigate suspicious death

Grande Prairie, Alta. – In the early morning hours of October 13, 2019 Grande Prairie RCMP responded to a residence in an apartment building on Poplar Drive.

On arrival the RCMP discovered the body of an adult male. RCMP Major Crimes has taken carriage of the investigation. The scene is secure and there is no concern for public safety.

Next of kin notification has been completed. No further details will be released at this time. The investigation is ongoing and an update will be provided once new information becomes available.

Anyone with information regarding this matter is asked to contact the Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700 or call your local police detachment. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com ( http://www.p3tips.com/ ) or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

 

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Alberta

Alberta Mountie charged with manslaughter tells jury she feared for her life

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Edmonton – An Alberta Mountie testified Wednesday that she feared for her life before she and another officer fatally shot a man at a rest stop northwest of Edmonton.

“That’s not something I ever wanted to do in my entire career,” Const. Jessica Brown told a jury as she teared up.

Brown and Cpl. Randy Stenger have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault in the July 3, 2018, shooting of Clayton Crawford near Whitecourt, Alta.

The jury heard RCMP were looking for a purple 1992 Dodge Dakota pickup truck that had been spotted fleeing the scene of a shooting a day earlier in Valhalla Centre. Crawford’s girlfriend had been shot in the leg and other vehicles were also seen leaving the area.

Grande Prairie RCMP later notified the Whitecourt detachment that an off-duty officer had seen the truck at the Chickadee Creek rest stop. Court heard there was a struggle when Brown, Stenger and another officer approached the vehicle.

Brown testified that she and the other officers told Crawford to put his hands up. Brown said Crawford sat up and put his hands up briefly before putting them between his legs.

“All I’m thinking is that I can’t see his hands,” Brown told the jury. “He’s gonna grab a gun, he’s gonna grab a weapon.”

“I got the sense that the driver was going to start the vehicle,” Brown said, adding she had near-misses with vehicles at other points in her career.

Brown told the court that after Crawford started the truck and began to pull away in reverse, she heard Stenger shoot. Brown then began shooting at the driver with her carbine rifle.

“I just kept thinking: ‘Why?'” Brown said. “This guy has no reason to be going backward except to try to kill us.”

Brown said Crawford had a clear exit route ahead of him.

Prosecutor Linda Shin told the trial last week that Brown shot at the vehicle eight times, while Stenger fired his semi-automatic handgun three times. Ten of the 11 shots hit Crawford.

Three police cruisers at the scene were equipped with cameras that recorded the shooting. The jury has watched the video multiple times. It shows the Mounties approaching the truck and the ensuing struggle, followed by shots fired while the truck starts to leave the rest area before running into a nearby ditch.

RCMP later found a machete in the truck and a butcher knife under its front seat.

The jury also heard Monday that Crawford had methamphetamines in his blood at the time of his death.

Forensic toxicologist Craig Chatter testified that the concentration was relatively high and Crawford was likely under the influence of methamphetamines when he died, or shortly before.

“I’ve had a lot of negative interactions with people on methamphetamines,” Brown told the jury while talking about her experience at the Whitecourt detachment. It was not known to officers at the time of the shooting that Crawford had the drug in his system, the jury heard.

In opening statements last week, lawyers said a potential dispute over a “drug den” could have instigated the shooting in Valhalla Centre and Crawford could have been a target.

CBC reported last week that there was confusion over whether Crawford was considered a suspect or a witness in the Valhalla Centre shooting. Cpl. Eldon Chillog testified he did not tell Brown that the individual in the truck was a suspect, but Brown testified Wednesday that she believed Crawford was.

The jury heard that Crawford was wanted on warrants at the time. He had previously been arrested for shooting a firearm and was known to police as being involved in the drug trade.

Early in her testimony, Brown, 31, told the jury that she wanted to be a Mountie since she was six years old, when she saw RCMP officers on horseback in their red uniforms during a parade.

“I know I wanted to have a job where I could help people in some capacity.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2022.

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Alberta

Trudeau says nothing is off the table when it comes to Smith’s new ‘sovereignty’ act

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By Stephanie Taylor and Mia Rabson in Ottawa

Nothing is off the table when it comes to responding to newly proposed legislation that would give Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s government “exceptional powers,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.

Trudeau stopped briefly on his way into a Liberal caucus meeting to address the long-awaited legislation Smith’s government introduced Tuesday in the provincial legislature.

The bill, called the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act, proposes to give Smith’s cabinet the power to rewrite provincial laws without legislative debate.

Trudeau said his government will be watching closely what happens next.

“I’m not going to take anything off the table,” he said.

“I’m also not looking for a fight,” he added. “We want to continue to be there to deliver for Albertans.”

Smith promised the legislation when she was a candidate in the United Conservative Party leadership race to replace former premier Jason Kenney. She characterized the bill as a way to push back against Ottawa and made it a major focus of her campaign.

Frustration with the federal government over equalization payments and resource development has been a long-standing issue in Alberta. That anger is part of what Smith is hoping to tap into with the new bill.

But critics say what it really proposes is to consolidate power around Smith’s cabinet.

Kenney, who waded into the leadership race for his replacement to call the sovereignty proposal “catastrophically stupid,” resigned after she tabled her plan Tuesday.

“We know that the exceptional powers that the premier is choosing to give the Alberta government in bypassing the Alberta legislature is causing a lot of eyebrows to raise in Alberta,” Trudeau said Wednesday. “We’re going to see how this plays out.”

Under Smith’s bill, her cabinet would have the power to direct “provincial entities,” from municipalities to regional health authorities, to defy federal rules it deems would hurt Alberta’s interests.

Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, who represents a Montreal riding, says Smith’s sovereignty proposal goes too far.

“I don’t think that this is appropriate for a province to determine whether or not a federal law exceeds its constitutionality. That is for a court,” he told reporters.

“If Alberta eventually adopts this bill, we’ll have to see how they use it,” he said.

Smith’s vision for Alberta has drawn comparisons to Quebec, which administers its own provincial pension plan and immigration programs and — in many Albertans’ minds, at least — appears to garner more jurisdictional respect from Ottawa when it wants to go its own way.

Housefather said people should be “wary” to use that analogy.

He pointed out that many head offices and residents left Montreal for Toronto when true Quebec sovereignty, meaning the province’s formal separation from Canada, was on the table.

“Businesses want stability, I think people want stability, and I don’t think the sovereignty act, even if it’s called ‘the sovereignty act in a united Canada,’ offers stability.”

Smith has said her proposal is not about separating from Canada. However, on Wednesday, she released a video on Twitter that described her plans not to enforce so-called Liberal laws that “attack” the province’s economy and individuals’ rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Housefather says the bigger question Smith’s bill raises is about “how Canadians see their country.” Do they see a role for a federal government beyond their province or territory?

“I feel very strongly that as a Canadian, everybody should play in their lane, and playing in their lane means that legislatures don’t determine whether something is constitutional from a different level of government,” he said.

While Smith has said she hopes the bill does not need to be used, briefing materials provided to reporters show her government is prepared to do so as early as next spring to deal with issues ranging from health care to property rights.

Conservatives in Ottawa were largely silent on the matter Wednesday, with two Alberta MPs saying they still needed to read the bill.

Garnett Genuis, another MP from the province, said the best way to allay Albertans’ frustrations with Ottawa is to replace Trudeau.

Genuis had more to say about the proposal during the provincial leadership race, when he backed Travis Toews, who is now a member of Smith’s cabinet.

In an opinion piece published in August, he called the prospective sovereignty act a “cheap trick” that violates the constitution and the rule of law.

“If asserting provincial authority were as easy as passing such a law, it would have been done already,” Genuis wrote.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2022.

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