Curtis Sagmoen can be seen leaving the courthouse in Vernon following Day 2 of his trial on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Sagmoen’s arrest was valid, Vernon RCMP officers say

Curtis Sagmoen saga continued Tuesday with defence counsel questioning validity of warrant

RCMP officers who conducted the surveillance and arrest of Curtis Sagmoen in September 2017 are making the case that they did so on solid grounds.

The Sagmoen trial continued in B.C Supreme Court Tuesday, Dec. 10, as defence lawyer Lisa Helps continued to call into question whether the warrant used to arrest Sagmoen was valid.

Sagmoen faces multiple charges related to an incident in August 2017, in which he is accused of having threatened a sex trade worker near his family’s Salmon River Road property with a firearm while wearing a mask.

A total of five RCMP officers involved with the investigation and arrest of Sagmoen are scheduled to testify during the current voir dire — a trial within a trial — at the Vernon Law Courts. In the morning, the court heard the witness accounts of Const. James Scott and Sgt. David Evans, who were involved in the surveillance of Sagmoen’s property and the execution of his arrest.

Both Const. Scott and Sgt. Evans testified that they recognized a photo of the accused from a picture printed in the Salmon Arm Observer in May 2017. The photo had been used by police for identification purposes, as none of the officers involved had previously seen or dealt with him. The picture shows Sagmoen wearing sunglasses and using an old hot tub as a watercraft to help move sandbags after a flood in Silver Creek — 15 kilometres south of Salmon Arm.

Sgt. Evans ultimately refuted the defence counsel’s challenge that the arrest warrant was invalid.

He recounted a meeting prior to Sagmoen’s arrest in which fellow officers explained to him why Sagmoen was considered the main suspect the August 2017 incident involving a sex trade worker who was called to a location near Sagmoen’s property. She was allegedly threatened with a firearm, had her car tire shot out and was forced to flee barefoot down the road.

Sgt. Evans mentioned some of the factors amounted to reasonable grounds, including the fact a neighbour reported incidents that took place on the property and involved Sagmoen meeting with escorts; Sagmoen’s property was where the offence took place; and Sagmoen met the “general description” the victim had described to police.

READ MORE: Cross examination application denied in Sagmoen trial: Supreme Court

READ MORE: RCMP asks Kootenay cannabis shop to remove image of famous Mountie from storefront

“When those grounds were explained to me in the similar point form that I explained to the court, I believed that reasonable grounds did exist to make the arrest of Curtis Sagmoen.”

Sgt. Evans explained to court why police had decided to use a four-person surveillance team to facilitate Sagmoen’s arrest while outside of his property.

“There was a level of concern about executing the arrest at Mr. Sagmoen’s residence as the offence involved a firearm,” he said.

Under other circumstances, police may have called Sagmoen to ask for his surrender, but Sgt. Evans said the concern with that plan was that it would give him time to potentially destroy evidence.

“The next option was to conduct surveillance and orchestrate an arrest away from the property,” he said. “We thought that was the safest way to take him in custody and the best way to preserve evidence of the offence.”

More police testimonies continued into the afternoon, and the voir dire is expected to carry on through Wednesday.


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Temporary four-way stop added to Vernon intersection

Change at 43rd Ave. and 20th St. is designed to curb increased traffic during construction periods

Protest planned after Vernon man’s probation conditions lifted

Richard Slobodian had his probation order cancelled in B.C. Provincial Court Sept. 14

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read