By Garett Williams
Friday November 23, 2007
Crown attorney Peter Keen continued building his case against Bruce
Montague Thursday with testimony that Monty’s Gunsmithing was operating
without a license weeks before his 2004 arrest.
Chris Wood, a 24-year-old police officer with the Dryden Police
Service, was the first witness into the box. He has no involvement in
the case, however, he has known Montague since he was a child when
Montague used to do work on his father’s guns.
Sometime between December 2003 and February 2004 Wood brought a
revolver into Monty’s gunsmithing to be repaired. He looked into buying
a bench rifle from Montague, but it wasn’t ready to be sold. Montague
left Wood a message later that summer saying the rifle was finished and
invited Wood out to a shooting range on his property. Wood never
returned the message and the gun was never sold.
Wesley Webb, a Domtar Mill worker, testified he brought a rifle into
Monty’s to have a scope mounted weeks before the arrest. He said he
didn’t see any guns for sale.
The Crown’s last civilian witness was Tyson Gardner, from Eagle Lake
First Nations, who brought his unlicensed 12-gauge shot gun to be
repaired before Montague’s arrest. Gardner has a criminal record and
didn’t hold a possession and acquisition license at the time. Montague
was arrested before the gun was returned.
During cross-examination Gardner said he was led to believe his
cooperation with the OPP, and the fact the gun was confiscated by the
police and out of his possession, would avoid him being charged with
unlawful possession of the firearm.
“To be charged with possession of narcotics, you have to be found in
possession of narcotics,” he said.
He was charged and the gun, which was handed down to him by his
grandfather, remains in police custody.
OPP acting Sgt. Brian Armit was called by the Crown to testify three
of the guns recovered from the Montague home were registered to Donna
Montague, however, during cross-examination, defence council Doug
Christie pressed him on his investigation of Bruce Montague leading up
to his arrest.
Armit said information gathered during his investigation -- which
included witness statements, police notes and calling Montague’s church
to inquire into a youth group he led -- was put into a report and sent
to a behavioral science expert to complete a threat assessment.
The last witness of the day was Robert Gagnon, of the OPP’s Electronic
Crime Unit. He searched Montague’s computer and turned his findings
over to the OPP in Dryden.
Christie argued the evidence before the court was incomplete and can’t
be put in proper context without seeing all the files on the computer.
He pointed to a file called “stage three power outage,” saying there
are clearly two stages before it, that weren’t before the court.
The court will take today off. The Crown is expected to wrap up its
Montague is facing 53 firearms related offenses, including the
unauthorized possession and careless storage of non-restricted
firearms, explosives and restricted firearms. His wife, Donna, is
facing three charges -- the unauthorized possession of a firearm and
two counts of careless storage of a firearm.
Montague’s constitutional challenge of the federal Firearms Act --
which aimed to strike out sections of the Criminal Code of Canada
related to the act, to have their criminal charges dismissed and to
have the Firearms Act declared unconstitutional -- was dismissed by
Justice John Wright a week before the criminal trial began.
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