Oliver & Osoyoos  

Judge orders pedal to the metal for trial of Osoyoos man facing serious weapons, assault charges

Judge orders hustle on trial

A judge has ordered matters sped up for an Osoyoos man facing weapons and assault charges that have lingered too long.

Aaron Daniel Gallant, born in 1984, is facing a slew of serious charges relating to events in 2022 and 2023.

Gallant appeared in Penticton Provincial Court Wednesday via video from custody. Court heard that the oldest file dates back to late 2022, which is an assault charge.

Other charges involve illegal possession of firearms, breaches of release orders, and another alleged incident of assault, all alleged to have taken place in Oliver or Osoyoos. Gallant is awaiting trial on all the matters.

Judge Lynnet Jung expressed frustration on behalf of the judicial case manager that defence lawyer Nelson Selamaj's office apparently offered potential dates for trial during which he is already booked on different matters with other clients.

That apparent conflict has made scheduling in late 2024 difficult.

"These matters are serious matters that are getting old, and they need to be set," Jung said.

In Canada, criminal trials must be heard within a "reasonable time" of the charges being laid, unless a waiver of delay is signed by the defence, which in this case they are not prepared to do. Failure to hold trial within a reasonable window of time could result in the matter being thrown out entirely.

Jung said that both she and the judicial case manager are uncomfortable with pushing the trial to 2025, and ordered that Gallant's trial be set whether that means other matters get sacrificed.

"I am directing that these dates be set with priority, and I am noting on the record that the available dates offered by Mr. Selamaj for dates where he's already actively engaged and scheduled to be in Penticton on other matters, and that Mr. Gallant's matters proceed and other matters not proceed, that was an unfortunate choice that had to be made," Keyes said.

Details about the nature of the charges were not discussed, other than Jung calling them "serious."

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