Sagmoen’s lawyer argues ‘abuse of power’ in police search

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen continued at the Vernon Law Courts on Friday

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen inched closer to the next stage on Friday, as the defence took its final opportunity to challenge the admissibility of evidence from his arrest.

Sagmoen, 38, is accused of threatening a sex worker at gunpoint near Falkland in August 2017. In October of that year, the remains of Traci Genereaux were found on the Sagmoen family’s property on Salmon River Road. No charges have been laid in relation to her death.

Defence lawyer Lisa Helps argued the warrant police used to arrest Sagmoen was not obtained on reasonable grounds.

On Friday at B.C. Supreme Court in Vernon, Helps continued her challenge that the roadside search of Sagmoen’s truck — used to obtain his cellphone as evidence — violated his Charter rights.

“What you have is (the officer) opening absolutely everything in there and doing this very exhaustive search,” Helps said, referring to the lengthy search police conducted before obtaining a warrant.

“If they were looking to preserve evidence or discover evidence, it still goes quite a significant way towards an invasion of this private space.

“There was no reason that they couldn’t have gotten a warrant once the cellphone was bagged and tagged,” she continued. “It’s still an abuse of power.”

Helps also sharpened her focus on the fact that police narrowed their investigation onto Sagmoen a few days after the offence took place. She said how “significantly narrowed” the investigation was on Sagmoen points to the issue that there was no investigation into any other suspects.

Friday was scheduled to be the final day of the current voir dire — the third one this trial has seen so far.

The trial has seen several delays and on Friday, it saw another as Helps fell ill after making her submissions before the morning break. The hearing was paused.

Crown lawyer Simone McCallum had just a few minutes to begin her final submission before the break in the proceedings occurred but used the time to refute the idea that a “near-perfect set of facts” is required to justify an arrest.

“This case underlines that we should not be engaged in that kind of expectation.”

READ MORE: Sagmoen’s arrest was valid, Vernon RCMP officers say

READ MORE: Vernon nurse pleads guilty to mischief


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

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

Just Posted

COLUMN: Choosing a face to show the world

It will not be easy to select the face to display on Canada’s new $5 bill

Summerland Steam lose twice in Junior B hockey action

Next action for Junior B hockey team is on Friday, Jan. 17 in Summerland

Summerland drama students to stage Matilda

Story by Roald Dahl will be presented at Centre Stage Theatre in February

Petition to install safety barriers on Hwy 97 garners over 500 supporters

Yesterday a fatal collision on Hwy 97 claimed the life of one individual

Scholarship receives funds from KIJHL

Launched in September, the scholarship is available to all KIJHL players

Older Canadians highlighted in Kelowna film project to fight ageism

The project is part of a campaign to combat ageism

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

Group builds shelters for Vernon’s stray cats

Twenty insulated cat shelters were constructed by volunteers and delivered around town

UBCO partners with Boeing to test new anti-ice coating technology

The coating could one day be applied to all airplanes to prevent ice buildup

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

True Stories: Okanagan memoir-writers, reading

Reading with local North Okanagan writers Art Dalton, Patti Shales Lefkos, Raven Dahl, Janelle Hardy

Kelowna’s last video store, Leo’s Videos, to remain open despite failed sale

Kelowna’s last video rental store will remain open and under its namesake’s ownership

Most Read