Man charged with 2019 murder also charged with 2020 shooting incident at North Battleford hotel

·3 min read

A North Battleford man charged with a 2019 murder and a shooting incident at a hotel in 2020 had his appearance waived in North Battleford Provincial Court March 10.

North Battleford lawyer Randolph Kirkham, who is representing Charles McLean, told the court that he spoke with his client the day prior, adding that McLean “didn’t want to be present by CCTV or phone.”

McLean was arrested May 19, 2020, and charged with manslaughter in connection to the Oct. 18, 2019, murder of Ryan Gatzke, 27. McLean is also charged in connection to an April 28, 2020, shooting incident where shots were fired at a North Battleford hotel.

In connection to Gatzke’s murder, McLean is charged with manslaughter, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, and unauthorized possession of a firearm. Jacob Ballantyne, 25, Isaac Melko, 22, and a young offender – whose name can’t be released in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act - were charged with second-degree murder, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, carry a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, possession of a firearm without a license, and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

In connection to the 2020 shooting at the Lone Star Hotel in North Battleford, McLean is charged with four firearms and weapons charges.

According to Battlefords RCMP, at about 3 a.m. on April 28, 2020, they responded to a report of shots fired at a local hotel on the 1000 block of the Highway 16 bypass.

Police didn’t locate any suspects at the hotel but they immediately reviewed surveillance footage and determined that an occupant in a silver car shot towards a white SUV.

An hour later police were called to a stabbing at a gas station on the 900 block of the Highway 16 bypass. When police arrived on scene they found the white SUV that was shot at earlier. The driver was arrested for impaired driving and police didn’t locate anyone who was stabbed.

Then two hours after that call, police got a report that a man in a silver car parked on Trudeau Street was waiving a firearm. RCMP were on scene in minutes and attempted to stop the car but the driver refused to stop and sped away. Police pursued the car for several blocks until the car lost control and drove over an embankment. Two men were seen fleeing the vehicle on foot. Police arrested one right away and the other man was located with the help of an RCMP sniffer dog.

Police arrested Korbin Gladue, 18, and Charles McLean, 23, both of North Battleford.

McLean was charged with four firearms and weapons charges.

Korbin was charged with nine firearms charges, five possession of weapon charges and failing to stop for a police officer. Korbin was additionally charged with a shooting incident from August 2019. Those charges include seven firearms charges, six possession of a weapon charges, one charge of escaping custody, one charge of failing to attend court and one charge of wearing a disguise while committing an offence.

Battlefords RCMP said they believe the shooting at the hotel wasn’t a random incident and believe it was tied to drug trafficking.

Korbin remains in custody and appears next in North Battleford Provincial Court on April 7.

McLean also remains in custody and appears next in North Battleford Provincial Court on May 12.

ljoy@glaciermedia.ca

Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist