Barnett sentenced to time served

The Fernie man pleaded guilty in Cranbrook court to the November 2012 abduction of his son

A Fernie man whose case was set to go to trial Tuesday in Cranbrook Supreme Court has pleaded guilty at the last minute.

Robert Barnett was in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Monday morning, June 17, to tell Justice Joel Groves that he had fired his lawyer one day before the trial was set to begin.

Barnett pleaded guilty on Monday afternoon to abduction by a parent or guardian and was sentenced to time served plus one day.

He was charged in connection with the November 2012 abduction of his three-year-old son from Fernie.

The incident last November sparked an amber alert, and the boy was found safe the next day sleeping in a car with his father in Whitefish, Montana.

Initially representing himself, Barnett hired a defence lawyer to represent him during his bail hearing in April and the upcoming trial. However, on Monday, June 17, his defence counsel told the Supreme Court justice that Barnett has terminated her services.

After Justice Groves gave Barnett time to speak to prosecutor Lynall Doerksen, Barnett returned to the court room and said he intends to plead guilty in the case.

Later on Monday, Barnett pleaded guilty to the abduction, telling Justice Groves that it was a mistake.

Doerksen told the court that Barnett had been granted sole custody of his son Alvin last fall because his wife, Alvin’s mother, was dealing with addiction issues.

However, in October, the Ministry of Children and Families removed Alvin from his father’s care after receiving reports that he was not adequately providing care for the boy. There was never any allegation of abuse.

On November 15, Robert Barnett was having a supervised visit with his son at his place of work, a motel in Fernie, when the father and son left the room, telling the supervisor they were going to get a game. They never returned and an amber alert was issued.

Doerksen said Barnett appeared to have made the decision hastily out of frustration with custody proceedings in court.

The father and son crossed the border at the Roosville crossing. The vehicle they were in was found early the next morning with Robert and Alvin Barnett sleeping inside in Whitefish, Montana.

Alvin was returned unharmed to the custody of the Ministry of Children and Families.

Robert Barnett was extradited to Canada later that month.

He was in custody until April 8 when he was released on bail, a total of 144 days.

Barnett now has work and is working to have custody of his young son returned to him.

Crown counsel told Justice Groves that the time Barnett had already served was an adequate sentence.

The judge said he was satisfied with that sentence, and placed Barnett on one year’s probation.

A charge of theft against Barnett was dropped by Crown counsel.

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read