Edmonton man shot by police guilty of assaulting officers with car

·3 min read

An Edmonton man has been convicted of using his car as a weapon to assault three police officers.

Everett White appeared remotely from the Red Deer Remand Centre on Friday for the final day of his trial at the Court of Queen's Bench in Edmonton. Initially charged on 25 counts, he was convicted of 14, including dangerous driving and weapons offences related to a pistol found at the scene.

The charges stem from the night of Oct. 3, 2017 when a specialized police traffic unit received a call about possible drug activity in a quiet, remote neighbourhood in southwest Edmonton.

The caller said there were cars parked on a dead-end residential street with a few people standing outside the vehicles.

White claimed he and some friends went to the remote location to smoke cannabis after gambling at the nearby River Cree Casino.

Court exhibit/Edmonton Police Service
Court exhibit/Edmonton Police Service

When police arrived White attempted to flee in his BMW, slamming into a cruiser before reversing into an unmarked police vehicle behind him. Five officers in three vehicles had planned their approach to prevent escape.

A constable standing next to the driver's door had his foot run over. He fired seven hollow-point bullets at the driver, hitting White at least twice.

White's neck was grazed and he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery. An investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team later cleared the constable of any wrongdoing.

At trial, defence lawyer Jake Chadi argued White's constitutional rights were violated during the arrest.

White testified in January that he at first thought he was dealing with a hitman, not police.

But Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kent Davidson said Friday he did not believe White's testimony, calling him an unreliable witness because he was admittedly high at the time.

Davidson also found White's operation of the vehicle constituted assault with a weapon despite the defence's claim that he only intended to evade police.

"That does not excuse unlawful conduct while in the pursuit of that object," he said, finding White guilty on three counts of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon.

White was also found guilty on six weapons offences related to his Baby Desert Eagle pistol.

Davidson said he was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that White owned a sawed-off shotgun found in a duffel bag in the backseat of the car and found him not guilty of six related charges.

Court exhibit/Edmonton Police Service
Court exhibit/Edmonton Police Service

White was initially charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. Davidson said Friday those charges were dismissed during the trial at the behest of the Crown prosecutors.

While the prosecution argued cash, guns, and multiple phones found in the car were tools of the drug trade, Davidson said there was little evidence any such transaction had occurred that night and acquitted White of a charge of currency and two charges related to the pistol as being obtained in the commission of an offence.

Defence has requested a Gladue report, which details an Indigenous offender's personal and community history for the court, be prepared before sentencing.

White is expected back in court on December 18th.