Sagmoen’s in-custody statements under judge’s scrutiny

Sagmoen’s lawyer said statements made by him while in police custody were not provided voluntarily

Justice Alison Beames had put into effect a publication ban covering details of Curtis Sagmoen’s voir dire hearing at the request of both Crown prosecutor Simone McCallum and defence lawyer Lisa Helps.

That ban was lifted Tuesday morning after careful consideration following a media submission opposing the publication ban.

Justice Beames reasoned there is no reason to suggest publishing evidence and statements in the voir dire would lead to an unfair trial in the future.

Sagmoen has been accused of threatening a sex worker at gunpoint while wearing a mask in an incident that occurred two years ago.

He pleaded not guilty to five charges on Sept. 9, including uttering threats, careless discharge of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, concealing his face and possession of a controlled substance.

READ MORE: Homeless man arrested after assaulting Vernon race volunteer

READ MORE: Sagmoen publication ban lifted

His lawyer said the court should not accept statements made by her client in police interviews as the statements made were not provided voluntarily.

In an interview with RCMP Cst. Richard MacQueen, a rapport was established through friendly banter over cigarette breaks where they discussed pastimes and hobbies they had in common, such as fishing.

But Helps said in her argument this was a tactic used to later elicit statements that could be deemed an involuntary confession.

Helps said MacQueen pushed touchy subjects, specifically involving his family, to keep Sagmoen talking.

McCallum, however, said this is a tool commonly used by police officers during investigations.

In an audio recording, Sagmoen said there are only three things he cares about — his dog, his mom and his dad.

Topics involving drug use, employment, Sagmoen’s cellphone, online dating and escort history would bring out a change in a demeanor, McCallum said.

A video recording shows Sagmoen lift a chair and attempt to throw it after MacQueen said computers from the family home had been seized for search.

Sagmoen apologized for the outburst after the officer was able to de-escalate the situation.

Statements Sagmoen made should not be admissible, Helps argued, contending they were made involuntarily.

McCallum said police did their due diligence in offering access to a lawyer, and no extraneous force was used by officers in any interaction with the accused.

Rather, Crown counsel said Sagmoen chose when to and not to speak to MacQueen, illustrating he exercised his right to silence when he wished to.

Justice Beames is expected to make her decision on the voir dire Sept. 23, 9 a.m., in the Vernon courts.

A publication ban is still in effect protecting the name and identity of the victim and in future reproductions of audio and video interviews of Sagmoen, his voice will be distorted — a condition of the publication ban removal.

Shortly after Sagmoen’s September arrest, his parents’ farm was the focus of an extensive search, where police discovered the remains of Traci Genereaux, 18, who had been missing.

No charges have been laid in connection to her death.

Sagmoen has been accused in four separate incidents of threatening or assaulting sex workers.

He pleaded guilty in February for an incident that occurred in Maple Ridge in 2013, sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months of probation.

READ MORE: Facebook to train AI systems using police video


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Unplug and Play Literacy Week returns in late January

The event sponsored by Interior Savings encourages everyone young and old to unplug from screentime

Kelowna’s Tess Critchlow gears up for World Cup at Big White

Critchlow is a professional snowboarder competing for Team Canada in the boardercross competition

Rockets stunned in 7-0 loss to Portland

Portland’s goaltender Dante Gianuzzi was named the game’s first star with a 17-save shutout

Kelowna secondary basketballer nominated for Canada-wide All Canadian Games

KSS’s Rylee Semeniuk is one of 152 players nominated

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Update: Highway reopens after crash west of Revelstoke

Drive BC also reported a vehicle incident 10 km east of Golden.

Most Read