Young offender accused of killing Ryan Gatzke denied bail

·2 min read

A young offender charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ryan Gatzke, 27, was denied bail.

Judge Murray Pelletier handed down his decision today in North Battleford Provincial Court. A two-hour bail hearing was held on April 22. The details of what was said during the hearing can’t be published. Crown Prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt had opposed his release.

The young offender, who was 17 at the time of Gatzke’s murder in 2019, can’t be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The young offender is also charged with 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.

Three others were also charged with Gatzke’s murder.

Isaac Melko and Jacob Joseph Ballantyne 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 a vehicle.

Charles Michael Lewis McLean was charged with manslaughter, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle and break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence.

RCMP Major Crimes North arrested the four after an eight-month investigation.

According to Battlefords RCMP, police responded to a report of an injured man at a home in Battleford on Oct. 18, 2019. The man, identified as Gatzke, was taken by EMS to the North Battleford Hospital where he was later declared deceased.

The charges against the four accused haven’t been proven in court.

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