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98th Street suspect remanded after bail hearing

Another one of the suspects accused in the 98th Street home invasion case has failed in his attempt to be released on bail.

Another one of the suspects accused in the 98th Street home invasion case has failed in his attempt to be released on bail.

Steven Moccasin was remanded in custody Wednesday by Judge Violet Meekma after she denied his release in a show cause hearing in provincial court.

He will remain in custody pending trial in March 2011 in North Battleford. Counsel set March 14, 16,17 and 23 as dates for the trial during Moccasin's appearance Wednesday.

Moccasin is one of eight people charged in the Jan 27th home invasion of a residence on the 1500 block of 98th Street in North Battleford. Moccasin faces 11 charges including robbery, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and membership in a criminal organization.

The case has gained attention over allegations the home invasion was carried out by an alleged criminal organization, the Native Syndicate, as an attempted retaliation against the rival gang the Terror Squad. The occupant of the home, Lance Moosomin, was badly beaten by a metal pipe used during the home invasion.

To this point, four individuals have entered guilty pleas in the case and three have been sentenced, including Ryan Osecap who was sentenced to six years for his involvement, Dwayne Katcheech who was sentenced to four years. A third individual, a youth, was sentenced to 20 months open custody and 10 months supervision. The fourth has yet to be sentenced. The other three accused are scheduled to go to trial.

During the bail hearing Crown prosecutor Suzanne Reid argued that Moccasin needed to be remanded based on previous fails to appear and failures to comply with conditions, as well as the tertiary grounds of suspected gang activity.

Reid relied on a confession given by Moccasin to police after he was arrested. In that statement, Moccasin nodded his head in response to questioning about whether he was a member of the Native Syndicate member, and admitted to being involved in the organization for a year.

Defence counsel Jonathan Abrametz called into question the confession, however, arguing Moccasin was not a member of the Native Syndicate gang at all.

He argued Moccasin had not worn a bandana or the black-and-white gang colours that other gang members wore, and said Moccasin did not have a tattoo insignia on his hand that gang members customarily have. He also downplayed Moccasin's involvement, arguing he wasn't a main member of the group.

"Half these people don't know who my client is," Abrametz said of the other co-accuseds involved. The defence lawyer added that no one placed Moccasin upstairs in the residence, where the beatings occurred to Lance Moosomin.

Despite that strenuous defence, Judge Meekma rejected his argument for release, saying there was a case to be made that he was a member of a criminal organization and noting there was "no doubt he was there" when the activity took place.

Moccasin will remain remanded in custody. A no-contact order was issued covering the other coaccused and the victims.