By Bill Graveland
THE CANADIAN PRESS
CALGARY- A judge has granted bail to a teenager charged in the August shooting of a German tourist west of Calgary.
Provincial court Judge Peter Barley granted the youth’s release Thursday on conditions that he pay $2,500 and live with his grandparents on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.
The youth, who was 16 when he was charged, is to remain in the home, be under constant supervision and abstain from drugs or alcohol.
He faces 14 charges, including attempted murder and possession of a prohibited firearm.
His lawyer said it’s not often that a court will keep someone that young in custody.
“It’s rare for young offenders to be detained but again it can happen depending on a number of circumstances including the seriousness of the crime, the record of the young offender if they have any,” Balfour Der said outside court Thursday.
“Courts try to release young offenders because they recognize jail isn’t a good place for young people to be.”
The teen is to return to court in Cochrane, Alta., on Nov. 13.
Der said it’s too early to say if the prosecution will seek to try his client as an adult.
“The crime is very serious so that would encourage the prosecution to want to try and get an adult sentence,” Der said.
“But on the other hand he’s a very young person with no prior record so in that regard it would probably lean towards staying in youth court so it’s hard to say.”
A 60-year-old tourist was driving a black Dodge Durango with his family near Morley, Alta., when he was shot on Aug. 2.
RCMP have said another vehicle was passing the Durango when a shot was fired from its passenger window and into the tourist’s SUV.
The Durango crashed into a ditch near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre on Stoney Nakoda land.
Three family members in the SUV weren’t seriously injured.
The driver survived and was flown back to Germany, where surgeons removed the bullet.
Der said he doesn’t believe that the public should be worried about the teen’s release.
“When we all heard about this crime for the first time you think … it is such a serious crime but fortunately we had a very experienced judge hearing this bail who understands at this particular time that it’s just allegations,” he said.
“There’s such strict conditions because the public would otherwise be concerned that you have this person who allegedly shot a tourist for no good reason.”
RCMP have said there were others in the car with the accused, but no other charges are pending.