All evidence admissible in Vernon trial of man accused of uttering threats

After a string of legal challenges by the defence, no evidence will be excluded from the Curtis Sagmoen uttering threats trial.

The North Okanagan man is on trial in Vernon, accused of threatening a woman with a gun in August 2017.

She had been invited out to a rural area to work as an escort before she was allegedly ambushed.

Sagmoen has pleaded not guilty to all five charges he is facing in relation to the incident.

The defence council had been challenging the legality of Sagmoen’s arrest in September 2017 and the police search of the vehicle he was driving.

However, on Monday, Justice Alison Beames ruled both were legal and didn’t breach Sagmoen’s Charter rights.

Beames said police had reasonable and probable grounds to arrest Sagmoen and it was valid for police to search the vehicle without a warrant to look for evidence.

It is expected to be the defence council’s final legal challenge to the admissibility of evidence in the case.

In previous legal challenges, Sagmoen’s lawyer tried unsuccessfully to get his interviews with police and evidence found during the search of his family’s property excluded from trial.

Country Boy Curt

With the ruling clearing the way for all evidence to be included at trial, court heard testimony from an RCMP officer who specializes in forensic analysis of electronics.

He testified that data extracted from a cell phone police seized revealed a text conversation from the night of the alleged confrontation.

Cpl. Chand said that conversation, found on the seized phone, was conducted through a free text messaging application and involved an app account with the user name “countryboycurt4106” (court heard that the user name was spelled unusually but the exact spelling used was not specified).

Court heard the account messaged a phone number to ask if they were available for a two- or three-hour “playdate” at a rural address.

However, the defence pointed out there is no way to tell who was using the phone when the message was sent.

Cpl. Chand also testified that the free text messaging app that was being used can give users a telephone number that is different from the number normally associated with their phone.

The court had previously heard that the number used to contact the complainant was different than the number police had used to reach Sagmoen.

The long-running trial is expected to wrap up this week.


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