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Kelowna  

Man accused of serious Halloween night assault has attempted murder charge stayed

Attempted murder stayed

Last Halloween, an alleged assault outside Kelowna's H2O Centre left several large pools of blood on the concrete, and more blood stains at a nearby home. A man was arrested from the home that night and police officers spent the following day photographing and collecting evidence around the two crime scenes.

But less than three months later, the man who was charged with attempted murder in relation to the incident has had his charge stayed.

Jesse Pez, 30, was taken from the home on Old Meadows Road in handcuffs at about 7:15 p.m., after police were first called to the H2O Centre for a report of an assault at about 5:30 p.m.

Despite the two gruesome crime scenes and the large police presence in the Mission area on the Saturday evening and Sunday, the Kelowna RCMP did not provide any information to the public about the assault until Monday.

Police filed an attempted murder charge against Pez, but he was granted bail just 10 days later. Pez was actually out on bail when the Halloween night incident occurred, as he awaited trial for uttering threats dating back to a July 2019 incident.

But last week, the Crown stayed the attempted murder charge.

“Mr. Pez was charged by the police shortly after he was arrested,” said Dan McLaughlin, spokesperson with the BC Prosecution Service. “Subsequently a Report to Crown Counsel was submitted for charge approval. After reviewing the available evidence the Crown Counsel with conduct of the file concluded that the charge assessment standard for proceeding with criminal charges was not met.”

In general, police in B.C. only recommend charges to the Crown, and the Crown decides if charges are warranted. But since Pez was arrested on a weekend and Crown counsel was unavailable to review the file, the RCMP was able to lay the attempted murder charge themselves.

“The police-laid Information and related [report to Crown counsel] are later reviewed by Crown Counsel, who conduct a charge assessment to determine whether to proceed with the charges, proceed on different charges, or to not proceed with a prosecution and stay (or put an end to) the Information that was prepared by police,” McLaughlin said.

It's unclear why the Crown chose not to proceed with the charge or why it took close to three months for the Crown to decide not to proceed.

The Crown also recently stayed Pez's uttering threats charge stemming from July 2019, but it's unclear why.

The criminal justice system is not done with Pez though. Despite allegedly breaching his bail conditions in December, Pez was released on bail again and he remains out of custody.

He's scheduled for a one-day trial on March 9 of this year for charges of assault and uttering threats from a May 2020 incident in Kelowna.

He will also be back in court in February for a slew of charges from several different incidents, that include assault, breaching his release order and fraudulently obtaining food, beverage or accommodation.



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