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July 15, 2011

Lawrence Manzer case ends abruptly in a mistrial

Lawrence-Manzer

What a bizarre end to a case that everyone, me included, expected would tell us just how far the government thinks we are allowed to go in protecting ourselves, our homes, our families and our neighbours.

I had a long talk with Laurie Manzer yesterday afternoon, once he returned home from court.  While he is greatly disappointed that the case did not give us a clearer idea of what the government considers reasonable when protecting ourselves and our neighbours, he is also greatly relieved that the huge weight hanging over his head for the past year is finally gone.

(news video from Burton TV below)

Because Crown Prosecutor Paul Hawkins chose to charge Lawrence Manzer as a summary offence, keeping a jury out of the picture, there were certain rules and timelines in place.  Adding to the complication was the fact that Hawkins dropped the initial charge against Manzer, then 7 months or so after the “incident” decided to re-charge him with a separate offense.

A summary charge must be placed within 6 months.  In Manzer’s case, that didn’t happen on the second charge.  Judge Andrew LeMesurier ruled that since there was no agreement by Mr. Manzer to allow the time extension, his Charter Rights had been violated and he declared a mistrial.

“I declare a mistrial,” LeMesurier said as Manzer’s supporters clapped and cheered loudly. “Mr. Manzer, you are free to go.”

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July 7, 2011

Lawrence Manzer goes on trial one week from today

Lawrence-Manzer-2

Lawrence Manzer goes on trial one week from today in a case that should never be before the court at all.  The only reason it is appears to be the local RCMP’s hatred of someone doing their job and Crown Prosecutor Paul Hawkins‘ hatred for a decent man doing the right thing when the RCMP won’t.

Hawkins certainly doesn’t seem to have a problem with actual violent criminals or dangers to society being set free; something he does on a regular basis, according to news reports I was able to find recently.  He’s sure got it in for Lawrence Manzer though, that much is clear.

One week from today the trial will go ahead at:

Burton Court House
23 Route 102 Highway
River Road, Burton NB
(Mailing address): P.O. Box 94
Oromocto, NB
E2V 2G4

If you live in the Oromocto area, I would urge you to show up on Friday, July 14th to support one of our military veterans as he faces injustice right here in Canada.

In an email he sent me earlier today, Lawrence Manzer said:

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June 22, 2011

What does New Brunswick Crown Attorney Paul Hawkins have against convicting criminals?

nb-oromocto-legion-fire

Paul Hawkins is a Crown Prosecutor in New Brunswick.  He’s the man bringing charges against Lawrence Manzer for the “crime”  of standing on his front porch with his unloaded shotgun while he watched his neighbour, Brian Fox, apprehend one of the drunken little jerks that had been vandalizing their neighbourhood for months.

Originally Hawkins charged Brian Fox with assault, but he eventually dropped that charge.

What is fascinating to watch from a distance is Hawkins’ record when it comes to actual criminals like 18-year-old Wayne Heighton,  who burned down Royal Canadian Legion #93 just for kicks.  Instead of proceeding with arson charges against Heighton, Paul Hawkins dropped the arson charge in favour of a misdemeanor “mischief” charge.

Yeah, that ought to teach the Wayne a lesson or two…

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June 17, 2011

Another New Brunswick Legion is Burned Down by Arsonists

Another New Brunswick legion building has been torched by arsonists, causing many veterans to wonder what’s going on in that province.  Royal Canadian Legion #60, 75 kilometres east of Fredericton on Route 105, was intentionally set on fire on June 14th, 2011.

Last June, Legion 93, located near CFB Gagetown, was lit on fire by an 18-year-old man, Wayne Heighton.  He destroyed the gathering place for veterans of our many past conflicts, and the home of hundreds of priceless, one-of-a-kind military memorabilia.

Instead of charging Heighton with arson, which carries a maximum penalty of [fill in here], arson charges were dropped and Heighton was allowed to plead guilty to a charge of mischief.

Quoting the Canada.com story where this was reported:

On March 3, 2011, Wayne Heighton, 18, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of mischief. In exchange, the Crown prosecutor withdrew charges of arson.

Is New Brunswick’s Crown Counsel Paul Hawkins smoking crack cocaine?  Why on earth would he do that, when at the same time as he’s prosecuting Lawrence Manzer for doing the RCMP’s job?  It makes no sense.

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April 25, 2011

Katey Montague releases video in support of Lawrence Manzer

Canadian Freedom advocate Katey Montague has just published a video to her YouTube website in support of New Brunswick resident Lawrence Manzer, who is facing charges of “possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace.”

Manzer was charged last year after he and neighbour Brian Fox apprehended three drunken teenagers who had been vandalizing and stealing from their neighbourhood for over six months.

In reality it was Brian Fox who did the “apprehending” of one of the teenagers, while Manzer stood on his porch with his unloaded shotgun after asking his wife to call 9-1-1.

In what can be described no other way than an affront to justice, Brian Fox was charged with assault and Manzer with “pointing a firearm” even though he never pointed his unloaded shotgun at anyone.

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April 1, 2011

RCMP wants to make New Brunswick Safer? Stop abusing law-abiding citizens!

Assistant RCMP Commissioner Wayne Lang, the man in charge of the RCMP in New Brunswick, was interviewed by the Daily Gleaner a couple of weeks ago.  He spouted the usual rhetoric… and made a surprising statement in light of the Lawrence Manzer case.

Lang said his crime reduction goals can only be achieved through a partnership with the public,

“The only way we are going to do that is if people chip in,” Lang said. “The RCMP (alone) is not going to make New Brunswick the safest province.”

First, I applaud Lang’s decision that working with us mere citizens is actually in the best interests of us both.  Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles of Policing might not be dead after all.  There is hope!

 

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March 23, 2011

Lawrence Manzer Radio Interview on CBC Halifax

Lawrence Manzer, as anyone who’s been following my blog for a while will know,  is the man currently facing charges of “weapon dangerous to the public peace” in Burton, New Brunswick.  His crime?  Stepping onto his porch with an unloaded shotgun to make sure his neighbour was safe.

Manzer’s neighbour Brian Fox was charged with assault for restraining three drunk teenagers who were trespassing and vandalizing his property.  Those charges were later dropped.

He faces a maximum of a $5,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail for daring to protect himself, his family and his neighbours.

This is, to be blunt, utterly absurd.  The three teenagers involved had been vandalizing and stealing from the neighbourhood for 6 months, yet the RCMP was not interested in showing up.  Not until Manzer’s wife dialed 9-1-1 and said they had the young perpetrators in custody.

THEN the RCMP showed up, drove the young offenders home, and came back a week later to charge Fox with assault and Manzer with “weapon dangerous”.

They should have pinned medals on both of them for their amazing community service.

Instead, Manzer will be on trial later this year and will likely, given the stupidity of our [alleged] justice system, be serving some time in the Big House come summer.

 

On March 14th Laurie Manzer was interviewed on CBC Radio 1 Halifax about his case.  Listen to that interview here:

Right-click and select Save-As to Download MP3 of Laurie’s CBC Radio Interview

Download File

 

 

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