NHL player to plead guilty in grizzly kill: Crown

NHL defenceman accused of illegal bear hunt in B.C. plans to plead guilty: Crown

Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner (right) throws down with Canucks forward Brandon Prust

By Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – An NHL player accused of illegally shooting a grizzly bear on British Columbia’s central coast intends to plead guilty, says a Crown lawyer.

Clayton Stoner of the Anaheim Ducks faces five charges for a hunt in 2013, but his case was adjourned Friday.

Prosecutor Jim Cryder told a provincial court judge that he spoke with Stoner’s lawyer, who, along with Stoner, did not appear in court.

“Mr. Stoner, through his counsel, would like to enter a plea, as I understand, as soon as possible and dispose of the matter,” Cryder told the judge.

A legal articling student who appeared on behalf of Stoner’s lawyer, Marvin Stern, confirmed that intention to Judge Brent Hoy.

Stoner has never denied the hunt, which sparked outrage after photos published in a Vancouver newspaper two years ago showed him holding a bear’s severed head.

But the former Port McNeill, B.C., resident did not meet residency requirements to have a hunting licence, according to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

Stoner is charged with two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting licence. He also faces separate counts of hunting out of season, hunting without a licence and unlawfully possessing dead wildlife.

Outside court, Cryder said it was not unusual for the case to be delayed.

“It takes time to negotiate things and have agreement,” he said. “It’s a slow process.”

He added that Stoner is not legally required to attend the hearings and a lawyer can enter a plea on his behalf at a future date, which has not been set.

About a dozen people who protested before the hearing and are demanding a ban on trophy hunting were disappointed that the case has been postponed at least three times.

“Clayton Stoner is used to penalties in his hockey career, but this should be the biggest penalty of his life,” said Mary-Sue Atkinson, from North Vancouver.

The bear, which local residents had named Cheeky, was killed in an area known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

Just Posted

Ucluelet councillor joins crowded mayoral race

Coun. Marilyn McEwen is the only incumbent councillor on the ballot in Oct. 20 municipal election.

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Willie Mitchell hosts second annual Fish for the Future derby in Tofino

“We’re really excited to get year number two under our belt.”

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

120 West Coast kids rock Bruhwiler Surf Classic in Tofino

“Surfing is a gift of this place.”

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

B.C. VIEWS: Looking under the hood of ICBC’s war on crashes

Is our accident rate really soaring, or is it inefficiency?

B.C. tent city residents have three weeks to clear out: Supreme Court

Fire risk, criminal activity in neighbourhood cited as reasons for judgment

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

Most Read