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N.B. judge postpones verdict on Drayden Clinton

The judge was scheduled to hand down his decision Oct. 15 but the matter was adjourned

NORTH BATTLEFORD – The verdict on whether 25-year-old Drayden Clinton is guilty or innocent has been postponed.

Judge Daniel O’Hanlon was scheduled to hand down his decision Oct. 15 but the court heard that he needs more time. The matter was adjourned to Oct. 29 in North Battleford Provincial Court.

In January 2020, Clinton was arrested in connection to several separate incidents. He has been in custody since.

Calgary lawyer Tom Stepper had filed two Charter applications; a Jordan and a Sinclair Application. The Jordan Application sought to have Clinton’s case thrown out due to what Stepper said were unreasonable delays. Clinton’s trial was scheduled and delayed three times. 

In August 2021, Judge O’Hanlon ruled that Clinton’s right to have a trial within a reasonable time wasn’t violated and jeopardy didn’t change when he wasn’t given a second right to counsel. In September, however, Judge O’Hanlon said he might have ruled differently if he knew a witness wasn’t going to be called.

Clinton faces multiple charges after an alleged home invasion in Macklin where Rick Heitt was allegedly beaten with brass knuckles, a baseball bat and threatened with a machete.

Clinton is charged with unlawful confinement, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, carrying a weapon for a dangerous purpose, wearing a mask in the commission of an offence, uttering death threats, possessing ammunition while prohibited, possessing brass knuckles while prohibited, and possessing Mace while prohibited. He is also charged with possession of property obtained by crime, break and enter and commit robbery, commit bank card fraud over $5,000 and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

During Clinton’s trial in July 2021, the Crown introduced new charges of witness tampering against Clinton for allegedly intending to provoke fear in a witness and obstruction of the course of justice on June 22, 2021. The court heard that Clinton, while on remand, made calls and gave messages for witnesses. The court heard that in Clinton's phone calls from remand he said Teneille Heitt, Kyle Thorn, and Rick Heitt better not testify.

For one witness Clinton said, “He gotta go on his own or get sent on vacation. Tell him he gotta go or he will get K I double hockey sticked.”

Clinton also said, “They can’t show up and if they do there is a professional on stand by. I need everyone to know don’t (expletive) me over."

Tyler Weinkauf was also charged and his trial proceeded in 2020 but the charges were stayed.

Tenielle Heitt, 31, of Unity, was charged with unlawful confinement, break and enter, possession of property obtained by crime, uttering threats, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Her trial is scheduled for Oct. 25 in North Battleford Provincial Court.