Man accused of violent home invasion in Inuvik released to Yellowknife

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Justin McGee, 27, who was accused of a violent home invasion at knifepoint in Inuvik earlier this month, has been released to Yellowknife. He is barred from having any contact with his partner and co-accused, 29-year-old Marilyn Maring. The two were arrested immediately after the Aug. 11 home invasion. Both are charged with robbery, according to the police. (David Thurton/CBC - image credit)
Justin McGee, 27, who was accused of a violent home invasion at knifepoint in Inuvik earlier this month, has been released to Yellowknife. He is barred from having any contact with his partner and co-accused, 29-year-old Marilyn Maring. The two were arrested immediately after the Aug. 11 home invasion. Both are charged with robbery, according to the police. (David Thurton/CBC - image credit)

A man accused of a violent home invasion at knifepoint in Inuvik, N.W.T. earlier this month has been released to Yellowknife.

According to court documents, Justin McGee, 27, was released on Aug. 23 on the condition that he remain in the Lanky Court apartment of a surety who was not required to post any bail money. McGee is only allowed to leave for work or necessary outings such as medical appointments.

McGee is also barred from having any contact with his partner and co-accused, 29-year-old Marilyn Maring. The two were arrested immediately after the Aug. 11 home invasion. Both are charged with robbery, according to the police. Maring was released right after being charged.

In an email, the RCMP say McGee is also facing other "related and non-related charges." There are not yet any publicly available court records of the other charges against McGee in connection with the home invasion.

The unrelated charges are in connection with incidents in the months just before the home invasion. He's accused of assaulting a woman on June 16, committing robbery on July 30th, theft on Aug. 7, and robbery, assault with a weapon and theft in connection with an incident on Aug. 11.

Despite that and a long criminal history that includes convictions for assault, break and enter, theft, uttering threats and failing to obey court orders, McGee was released last week.

Video Evidence

Under the Criminal Code, one aspect justices of the peace and judges should consider when deciding whether or not to release someone charged with a crime is the strength of the prosecutor's case against them. Police and one of the victims of the home invasion say it was recorded on video from start to finish.

In search warrant documents, the Inuvik RCMP say that just before 6 a.m. on Aug. 11 they got a call from Vince Sharpe, a well-known former councillor, businessperson, philanthropist and senior. Sharpe reported that someone had broken into his home and attacked him and his wife with a knife.

In the documents, police say they arrived to find Sharpe and his wife had suffered cuts to their hands. Speaking to CBC News about the incident, Sharpe said his wife, Lena Allen, also suffered a broken rib. In the search warrant police say video from a surveillance system in the home showed the invader throw Allen to the floor after she tried to hit him with a fire poker. Sharpe said his wife also required stitches to close one of the cuts on her hand.

He said his wife remains traumatized by the incident.

"She locks the door 24/7 now," he said. "We never used to lock the door. Now I have to knock on my own door to get in."

According to the search warrant documents, Sharpe tried to use a BB pistol to defend his home, but McGee wrestled it away from him and pointed it at him.

In the documents, police say the surveillance video shows a woman they recognized as Maring remained on the porch of the house while a man, his face covered with a hoodie and mask and brandishing a large knife, demanded money from Sharpe and his wife. After the struggles the man left with several cartons of cigarettes.

Sharpe said this was not a random home invasion. He said McGee is a former employee of his.

In the search warrant documents, police say they also have surveillance video from the apartment building where McGee and Maring were staying, showing them returning shortly after the home invasion, with McGee wearing the same clothes but unmasked.

In the documents, police said that in executing the search warrant they took blood swabs of the apartment, seized an air gun, shoes, clothing, a knife and cigarettes of the same kind that were taken during the home invasion.

McGee has a long history of criminal behaviour dating to his time in Aklavik, including convictions for assault, break and enter, theft, uttering threats and failing to obey court orders.

He is scheduled to appear in court in Yellowknife on Sep. 13. Maring is due in court on Sept. 27, but it is unclear if she will appear in Inuvik or Yellowknife.