Sagmoen’s in-custody statements under judge’s scrutiny

Sagmoen’s lawyer said statements made by him while in police custody were not provided voluntarily

Justice Alison Beames had put into effect a publication ban covering details of Curtis Sagmoen’s voir dire hearing at the request of both Crown prosecutor Simone McCallum and defence lawyer Lisa Helps.

That ban was lifted Tuesday morning after careful consideration following a media submission opposing the publication ban.

Justice Beames reasoned there is no reason to suggest publishing evidence and statements in the voir dire would lead to an unfair trial in the future.

Sagmoen has been accused of threatening a sex worker at gunpoint while wearing a mask in an incident that occurred two years ago.

He pleaded not guilty to five charges on Sept. 9, including uttering threats, careless discharge of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, concealing his face and possession of a controlled substance.

READ MORE: Homeless man arrested after assaulting Vernon race volunteer

READ MORE: Sagmoen publication ban lifted

His lawyer said the court should not accept statements made by her client in police interviews as the statements made were not provided voluntarily.

In an interview with RCMP Cst. Richard MacQueen, a rapport was established through friendly banter over cigarette breaks where they discussed pastimes and hobbies they had in common, such as fishing.

But Helps said in her argument this was a tactic used to later elicit statements that could be deemed an involuntary confession.

Helps said MacQueen pushed touchy subjects, specifically involving his family, to keep Sagmoen talking.

McCallum, however, said this is a tool commonly used by police officers during investigations.

In an audio recording, Sagmoen said there are only three things he cares about — his dog, his mom and his dad.

Topics involving drug use, employment, Sagmoen’s cellphone, online dating and escort history would bring out a change in a demeanor, McCallum said.

A video recording shows Sagmoen lift a chair and attempt to throw it after MacQueen said computers from the family home had been seized for search.

Sagmoen apologized for the outburst after the officer was able to de-escalate the situation.

Statements Sagmoen made should not be admissible, Helps argued, contending they were made involuntarily.

McCallum said police did their due diligence in offering access to a lawyer, and no extraneous force was used by officers in any interaction with the accused.

Rather, Crown counsel said Sagmoen chose when to and not to speak to MacQueen, illustrating he exercised his right to silence when he wished to.

Justice Beames is expected to make her decision on the voir dire Sept. 23, 9 a.m., in the Vernon courts.

A publication ban is still in effect protecting the name and identity of the victim and in future reproductions of audio and video interviews of Sagmoen, his voice will be distorted — a condition of the publication ban removal.

Shortly after Sagmoen’s September arrest, his parents’ farm was the focus of an extensive search, where police discovered the remains of Traci Genereaux, 18, who had been missing.

No charges have been laid in connection to her death.

Sagmoen has been accused in four separate incidents of threatening or assaulting sex workers.

He pleaded guilty in February for an incident that occurred in Maple Ridge in 2013, sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months of probation.

READ MORE: Facebook to train AI systems using police video


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Shuswap shows love for musician battling brain tumour

More than $10,000 raised during seven-hour benefit concert for John Fleming

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s Shuswap stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling into region on Dec. 14

Salmon Arm farmer’s market moved indoors

The last market will take place Dec. 7

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Most Read