A Calgary millionaire, a former police officer, and the officer’s wife, have been convicted in a harassment case.
The jury finding millionaire Ken Carter guilty of criminal harassment in trial that centered on a custody battle between Carter and his ex-girlfriend. The woman claimed she was the subject of a campaign by a private investigation firm to discredit and intimidate her.
As well, the jury delivery a guilty verdict on a charge of criminal harassment against former Calgary police officer Steve Walton. A mistrial was declared for a second charge of harassment against Walton’s wife, Heather, who is a former civilian member of the CPS.
The Waltons were also convicted of bribery of a police officer and a firearms charge.
Prosecutors say that in 2012, Carter paid the Waltons $800,000 to harass and discredit the woman and try to gain custody of her daughter.
It was a long trial, with the jury deliberating for several days until announcing the verdict on Friday afternoon.
“A difficult trial for Crown and defense and the court and the jury,” said prosecutor Ryan Presad. “And one that saw the rigours of the justice system go through every possible hurdle for the jury to reach its verdict.”
Presad has no opinion on the mistrial, but the Crown can choose whether or not to pursue a second trial for that charge against Mrs. Walton.
In the meantime, defense counsel for the Waltons are proceeding forward with the pre-sentencing, with submissions scheduled for October 26th.
Alain Hepner, who represents Mr. Walton, said they had some problems with the case.
“There were a lot of decisions that were made by the trial with which we disagreed, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. We have to move forward to the next phase now.”
He would not elaborate more on any plans for an appeal.
The Crown and defense also thanked the jury for their time, as it was a tough case for them.
“It was not easy for them, and I think that’s what a mistrial tells us; that it was an incredibly difficult set of deliberations for these jurors,” said Kelsey Sitar, the counsel for Mrs. Walton.
“I know the jury was very intense, and some of them were very emotional during the verdict. It was noticeable to all of us — certainly, two women were very, very distraught,” said Hepner.
Carter and the Waltons sat largely motionless in the box while the verdicts were read.
Carter’s ex-girlfriend did not testify in the case.