A 27-year-old Peter Penagin appeared handcuffed before Justice of the Peace Marcel Donio in Courtroom 104 on Thursday, March 15, 2018, for a Bail Hearing.
Penagin is about 5’6” tall, medium build and wearing a black hoodie with a black jacket. He’s represented by local lawyer Tyler Woods. Crown Attorney is Liana Nigro and Justice of the Peace Jennifer Neill is behind the bench with Donio
This is a Crown onus bail hearing. The Crown has concerns on the secondary ground. The court hears allegations of an incident on February 25, 2018, at 8:30 am in the 500 block of McDonald St in the East End. Thunder Bay Police were called about a suspected drunk driver and arrived to find a black 2013 Kia Optima stuck in the snow with Penagin trying to shovel it out. There are 2 other occupants in the vehicle.
Police noticed damage to front end of vehicle and Penagin claimed he hit a rabbit but then changed his story to he was doing donuts with the vehicle at his Reserve. He’s from Gull River Indian Reserve 55.
Police allegedly detected a strong odour of alcohol on Penagin and observed an empty 750ml bottle of Smirnoff vodka as well as empty Labatt Blue Can in the vehicle.
Officer Marc Cattani allegedly administered a Roadside screen device on Penagin at 9:12 am. It registered a fail. At 9:13 am, Penagin was advised he was under arrest.
While attempting to handcuff the accused, it’s alleged that he resisted Officer Derek Hymers and TBPS had to strike the accused to get him to comply. After getting him handcuffed, and escorting him to the cruiser, Penagin allegedly lunged at Officer Lucas Begley in an attempt to headbutt him. The Officer has to strike Penagin to defend himself. Penagin allegedly spits in Officer Begley’s face.
At 10:30 am Penagin phones legal aid lawyer.
At 10:37 am, it’s alleged his first breath reading is .175 BAC.
At 10:44, it’s alleged his second breath reading is .167 BAC.
The Crown presents a lengthy criminal record that begins in 2006 as an exhibit.
He has 3 previous convictions for assaulting or resisting police officers. Several more convictions of violence. At least 8 convictions of court orders. There’s even a conviction for escaping lawful custody. He has 2 separate probation orders from Judge Valente from March and July 2017.
Tyler Woods calls his client as a witness to be sworn in. Penagin speaks well and clear but has a very noticeable stutter every time he tries to pronounce the word “mother”
Woods want his client released on bail with surety and no deposit. Woods points out to the court that his client always attends his court dates.
Penagin testifies that he lives with his mother in Gull River. His mother gets paid by Dilico in a kinship agreement to look after his 2 young girls who are 5 & 4 years old. That’s been the arrangement since last year after his last set of assault convictions. Woods gets his client to testify that he has training in Thunder Bay for 3 months starting April 2nd to learn construction and then he has a job back at the reserve to do construction on the waterfront there after 3 months. There is no documentation to confirm this presented to the court. Woods asks his client if he has a problem with alcohol and Penagin says “No”. He says he can stop drinking if he wants and will do anything for his kids.
Crown Attorney Nigro has a chance to question Penagin. She asks him if he knows how many convictions are on his criminal record for assaulting or resisting police. Penagin responds “2 or 3”. Three is the correct answer.
She asks him if he knows how many violent offences are on there. He doesn’t know. There are numerous convictions.
Penagin states he has no problem with police on the Reserve because they are his 3rd cousins.
Justice of the Peace Donio has to go make a decision.
He returns with some questions. He asks Woods why he didn’t present Gladue factors for the hearing. Tyler Woods is confident in the bail plan proposed and felt Gladue was unnecessary for this hearing.
Donio rules that Penagin can be released with his mother as surety once she gets approved. There is a 1500$ no deposit condition. He has an 8 pm – 6 am curfew and he’s not allowed alcohol or to drive a motor vehicle. He must remain on the Reserve and is only allowed off for emergencies or to attend court.
Justice of the Peace Donio orders Penagin to present himself in person to the police on the Reserve each business day, Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. He feels this will help Penagin with interacting with police better.
The accused is led out of the courtroom to head back to Thunder Bay Jail. He’ll be released once his mother is approved as surety.
NO OTHER LOCAL MEDIA WAS PRESENT
From The Desk of Thunder Bay Courthouse – Inside Edition