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Man pleads guilty, is sentenced for incident north of Estevan in January

Justice Guillas sentenced to 335 days in prison, but given credit for time served.
Estevan Court House exterior

ESTEVAN - A man who was charged following a multi-vehicle incident north of Estevan earlier this year pleaded guilty to four charges on March 13 in Estevan Provincial Court.

Justice Guillas, 19, pleaded guilty to one count each of assault, assault with intent to steal, resisting a police officer and mischief.

Three counts of assault with intent to steal, two counts of assault and one count of failing to comply with a release order were stayed.

Judge Bruce Henning sentenced Guillas to 335 days in prison, following a joint submission from the Crown prosecutor and Guillas' attorney. Guillas had spent 61 days in jail on remand, which was credited to his sentence as time and a half, reducing his sentence by 92 days.

Guillas will spend 243 days in prison from March 13 onwards.

He will also have to pay restitution of $460 to Troy LeBlanc for the injuries that were sustained.

Crown prosecutor Jessica Quan said that late on Jan. 12, Guillas was the passenger in a vehicle driven by his mother Karie. He grabbed the steering wheel and began yelling. Karie Guillas stopped the vehicle in the middle of Highway 47 north of Estevan.

Quan said Justice Guillas exited the vehicle and stood in the box of the truck. Another vehicle collided with the Guillas truck and he was thrown from the box.

Justice Guillas went to the vehicle and tried to remove LeBlanc, who Quan said was the driver of the vehicle. Quan noted the accused started punching LeBlanc.

Another vehicle stopped at the scene and Quan said Guillas tried to take that vehicle, breaking the signal light with a shovel. He also tried to seize another vehicle, according to the statement Quan read.

When members of the Estevan RCMP arrived at the scene, Quan said Guillas tried to take the Taser from an officer.

LeBlanc suffered a broken and dislocated ankle that required surgery. He provided a victim impact statement for the sentencing. Henning noted LeBlanc was "quite traumatized by the event".

Karie Guillas, who was crying and shaking her head at times during the sentencing, said the Crown prosecutor's account was not what transpired. She pointed out that her son was thrown 10 feet from the vehicle in the collision with LeBlanc's vehicle, causing her son to suffer injuries.

She described Justice Guillas as a quiet person.

Henning noted that Justice Guillas has accepted the account of the joint submission, but Karrie Guillas said he doesn't remember anything from that night.

Justice Guillas is from Estevan but was residing with his father in Manitoba at the time. Justice Guillas' attorney, Joelle Graham, noted that he has struggled with addictions and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. He was a really good football player in his younger days and enjoys working on vehicles. He has a Grade 11 education and would like to attain his general education diploma.

"It's something he's been doing quite well at the Regina Correctional Centre," said Graham. "He has been active in trying to get into programming and trying to get his education, and I have no doubt that once he is out of remand and those programs become available to him, that Mr. Guillas is the type of individual that would be able to get into … schooling quite quickly based on his good behaviour while in custody."

He seems to be better in a stable and structured environment, Graham said, and he hopes to find employment as a mechanic.

Graham noted Guillas will require surgery for his cheek and nose due to injuries sustained in the collision.

Henning noted that Guillas should be able to find employment due to his interest in cars. But Henning also urged Guillas to leave the drugs behind, especially since the drugs will make mental health issues worse.

While Guillas is in custody, Henning said he could seek additional educational programs and upgrades.

"It will be very important that you follow through and that you … co-operate with the programming," said Henning.

He cautioned Guillas that if he receives another set of assault charges, Guillas could spend a long time in prison and possibly even be declared a dangerous offender.

"You can use that time [in custody] productively and it would appear you are doing well in custody, so that is something that is positive," Henning said.

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