Lawyer for protesters accused of violating COVID rules enters not guilty pleas

·2 min read
Five people were charged after a protest in Moncton in January against measures meant to limit the spread of COVID-19. (Guy LeBlanc/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Five people were charged after a protest in Moncton in January against measures meant to limit the spread of COVID-19. (Guy LeBlanc/Radio-Canada - image credit)

A lawyer representing two people charged for allegedly failing to follow COVID-19 rules at a protest in Moncton entered not guilty pleas on their behalf Wednesday in Moncton provincial court.

Lawyer Joshua Halpern entered the pleas by phone for Bathurst residents Nicholas DeAngelis, 34, and 31-year-old Britney Green.

DeAngelis and Green were arrested and charged following a protest against COVID-19 restrictions held outside Moncton city hall on Jan. 24.

The Ontario-based lawyer was hired by Rebel News to oppose tickets for violating pandemic rules, according to the organization's website. He also represents Jonathan Rossiter, 29, of Nackawic, who was among five charged following the protest.

Halpern told provincial court Judge Brigette Volpé that he's in discussions with a Crown prosecutor about resolving the three cases.

He requested an adjournment until July 7, which was granted.

Volpé asked if Halpern would be present that day, but he said he would appear by phone. The judge said that if he's not physically present in court, DeAngelis and Green must be there.

DeAngelis faces criminal charges of causing a disturbance at a Superstore in Moncton by screaming, mischief by interfering with the use of property, and resisting two police officers on Dec. 31, 2020.

DeAngelis is alleged to have violated the province's Emergency Measures Act on Dec. 31 by not wearing a mask and on Jan. 24 by taking part in a gathering of more than five people while not physically distanced and not wearing a mask.

Green faces similar criminal charges.

Dawn Teakles, 49, of Moncton, and David Robert West, 54, of Riverview were also charged following the protest outside city hall.

Teakles is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 31, 2022 while West returns to court May 11. Rossiter returns to court July 6.