Accused who fired at police allowed to reserve plea

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Three people charged in connection with a police incident in High Prairie May 31 where shots were fired and officers involved have reserved pleas on all charges until Oct. 5.

Courtenay Michelle Cunningham, 29, of Edmonton, Archie Peter Papastesis, 37, of Valleyview, and Kenny Manichoose, 32, of Valleyview, made their pleas in High Prairie provincial court Sept. 14.

“The matter for all three goes over to Oct. 5 for plea,” Judge J.K. Sihra said.

Cunningham is charged with possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon, careless use of a firearm, discharging a firearm, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, driving a vehicle with no insurance, operating an unregistered vehicle, possession of stolen property, and assaulting a peace officer.

Papastetis and Manichoose each face charges of possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon, careless use of a firearm, discharging a firearm, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, assaulting a peace officer, and possession of a prohibited firearm.

The incident sparked a massive police action including the RCMP Police Dog Services, Emergency Response Team, and RCMP helicopter. Police swarmed the streets and sky for hours.

Police say the incident was triggered by a traffic stop in northeast High Prairie at 2 a.m.

An RCMP news release says officers were responding to a traffic complaint involving a vehicle when shots were fired in their direction.

The vehicle was recovered abandoned at the High Prairie Elks Rodeo Grounds with several firearms inside.

Two guns were seized from the vehicle, police report. One gun was a Mossberg Model 715T .22 calibre semi-automatic rifle and the second was a replica handgun.

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