More legal problems for alleged church arsonist

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A High Prairie man charged with arson in connection with a fire that damaged the historic St. Bernard Mission Church in May 2023 was sentenced in court last week on another charge.

Gerald Kenneth Capot, 50, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty in High Prairie Court of Justice March 4 to failing to comply with release orders.

Capot was given credit for time already served and released.

Court heard Capot failed to report to the RCMP after he was suddenly released from residential treatment, Crown prosecutor Nuha Abu- nada told court.

“He didn’t turn himself in,” Justice S.P. Hinkley noted.

Capot was dismissed from his treatment, lawyer C. McMahon said.

“He was caught smoking,” McMahon said.

Court heard Capot is remorseful.

“He wants to apologize,” McMahon said.

Capot is co-accused with Kenneth Randy Ferguson in connection with the May 22, 2023 fire that heavily destroyed the building that was constructed in 1902.

Capot and Ferguson are scheduled for a trial that starts May 21 in the Court of King’s Bench in Peace River.

The building contained many historical and unique items, including paintings by the first missionary bishop of the region, Bishop Emile Grouard.

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