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Kelowna  

Crown seeks 7 years for Hells Angel

Final submissions continued today at the sentencing of Hells Angel member Joseph Skreptak and his 'criminal partner' Cory Montemurro.

Crown Counsel presented their closing submissions Monday, which included in part, the argument that the men “jointly involved in this criminal enterprise”' should serve seven years in prison. Sandra Dworkin also asked for a firearms prohibition for life, the surrendering of any firearms either man owns and a DNA order.

Both Skreptak and Montemurro have been charged and found guilty of nearly a dozen weapons charges after a traffic stop in Nov. 2010 yielded several firearms, including a sawed-off shot gun, body armour, knives, bats, bear spray, a cell phone jamming device and a small amount of marijuana in Skreptak’s underwear.

Dworkin suggested to Justice Al Betton that he consider the seriousness of the items seized.

“There was no legitimate use for this arsenal, it was clearly intended for a criminal purpose.”

Crown argued that although there was no crime being committed at the time of the offence, the items in the car were most likely intended for criminal activity.

“Their actions were a particular threat to the safety and security of the community,” said Dworkin. “An extremely dangerous act for which there is no justification.”

Crown Counsel also asked the judge to consider Montemurro's prior criminal record, which includes gun offences -- but his lawyer was quick to point out it had been pardoned. Dworkin still argued, however, that the record is relevant, as it displays that Montemurro is not a first-time offender. 

She also brought up Skreptak's recently completed jail term for aggravated assault. A crime committed just weeks before the incident on trial now.

Both men are required under Canadian law to serve a prison term of a least three years for the firearms offences.

Skreptek's lawyer, Kelly Christiansen, is seeking a four-year term for her client, while Montemurro's lawyer, Donald Skogstad, says his client should be sentenced to no more than three years.

Skogstad argued the Crown's position on any potential harm is just an assumption, and that this client was not involved in, or caught doing, any overt criminal act.

He notes both men were arrested without incident and assuming they were “up to no good” is just that, an assumption. He then reminded the court of the presumption of innocence.

“We can't assume the worst,” said Skogstad. “It cannot be said there was going to be harm done.”

Christiansen also asked the judge to delay sentencing until the New Year, so both men can celebrate “their last Christmas” with their families before heading to jail.

Closing submissions continue Tuesday in Kelowna.  

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