Amid COVID-19 restrictions, trial begins for 2 men accused of breaking into and robbing Sask. family acreage

Amid COVID-19 restrictions, trial begins for 2 men accused of breaking into and robbing Sask. family acreage

Amid restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, two men accused in a break and enter over the Christmas holidays in 2017 were arraigned at Court of Queen’s bench Monday morning.

During the proceedings, sheriffs and lawyers donned medical masks and latex gloves.

Behind tall plexiglass panes in front of the prisoner’s box, Joshua Lecky and Fraser Littlewolfe each heard the charges levied against them.

Both men face one count each of break and enter and one count of possession of property valued at more than $5,000 obtained by crime.

Littlewolfe faces a further charge of wearing a mask over his face with intent of committing break and enter and one count of possession of a weapon in contrary to a probation order, related to a crossbow he allegedly had at the time.

Lecky faces further charges of breaking his probation order and for possession of a stolen 2005 Chevrolet Silverado.

Both were charged on Feb. 21, 2020 and have pleaded not guilty.

Witness says cash-filled floor vault, coin collection taken 

Clinton Schnurr took the stand as the Crown’s first witness. Schnurr said he returned to his acreage outside of Dalmeny on Dec. 27, 2017 to find his home had been broken into, estimating he lost over $100,000 of cash, coins, and possessions.

He also told court many new items given as gifts for Christmas were also stolen, including his daughter’s television, still in the box.

Of the items stolen, Schnurr told the court he had a floor vault in his garage where he kept around $65,000 in cash, two rifles, a coin collection he estimated to be worth about $50,000.

He testified he had collections of hats, watches and shoes and that all were taken.

Schnurr was not at home at the time.

The Crown showed court excerpts from Schnurr’s home surveillance system.

The video played in court showed three men in the home on Dec. 26, 2017 around 9 p.m.

Schnurr testified he did not know these people walking through his home.

Additional security video shows the men in the home the next morning, after 6 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2017.

The trial is expected to continue Monday afternoon with cross-examination from the two defence lawyers representing the accused. 

Under cross-examination, Benjamin Omoruyi asked Schnurr if any of the items he can see on the man were one-of-a-kind? The witness replied saying no.

The defence for Lecky questioned Schnurr’s statement to police which he gave back in 2017. In that statement, Schnurr told police he found cigarette butts in front of his safe, and he believed whoever those butts belonged too, was behind the robbery.

According to an agreed statement of facts presented at trial, RCMP sent the cigarette butt for DNA analysis. A DNA profile was obtained and it did not match either Littlewolfe or Lecky’s DNA.

Letters in truck

The Crown called Const. Sean Jenkins, with the Saskatoon Police Service. He told court via telephone he was tasked with examining a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado, which was allegedly used in the crime.

The agreed statement of facts detail how the registered owner of the truck was Oscar Hunter from Sonningdale, Sask., near Biggar. 

Hunter told police the last time he saw his truck was the night of Dec. 26. He discovered it was missing the morning of Dec. 27.

The vehicle was located by Saskatoon police on Dec. 30, when police found several items in the truck that did not belong to Hunter. 

Those items included a rifle and ammunition, Honda generator, chainsaw, two-socket wrench sets, two leather jackets, a Canon camera, SGI driver’s license and SIN card for Schnurr, two receipts from Cabela’s, a Cabela’s bag and hand-written letter with the name Fraser Littlewolfe.

Const. Jenkins told the court the letters with the accused’s name on them appeared to have been written while he was in custody at Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre.

Under cross-examination Littlewolfe’s defence asked for how long the truck was sitting in a secured lot before officers examined it, the officer replied saying he didn’t know.

Crown prosecutor Melodi Kujawa is expected to call three more police witnesses on Tuesday when the trial continues. 

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