Alleged gun smuggler’s name disputed

A Crown lawyer must successfully argue Alexander Morgan Louie and Alex Louie are the same person

The end result of the trial for Alex Louie in Penticton will depend on whether he and Alexander Morgan Louie are the same person.                                (Western News file photo)

The end result of the trial for Alex Louie in Penticton will depend on whether he and Alexander Morgan Louie are the same person. (Western News file photo)

In a trial over charges of driving while prohibited, a man’s conviction will depend on his name.

Alexander Morgan Louie is charged with two counts of driving while prohibited and one count of driving while prohibited/licence suspended, after he was believed to be spotted driving across the U.S. border near Osoyoos Feb. 1 this year.

Const. Randy Herman with the Osoyoos RCMP detachment said he recognized Louie as the driver of the vehicle as he was being handled by Canada Border Services Agency officers, and believed he didn’t have a driver’s licence.

Related: Courtroom rabble rouser granted internet access in jail

Herman said he had dealt with Louie “at least five times” in the past, and said he recognized the man in the vehicle as “Alexander Louie,” and recognized the driver of the vehicle as the defendant in court.

But there was one small issue that will determine Louie’s fate on this matter.

While the charges are for “Alexander Morgan Louie,” the driving prohibition and other records refer to “Alex Louie.” The defendant in court goes by the name Senklip, his Indigenous name, with his official name in records as “Alex Louie.”

At the same time as his run-in with Herman, Louie was also allegedly found to be attempting to carry guns across the border, and for that incident, he will be facing a trial in the Supreme Court of B.C. On that file, his name is listed as “Alex Louie.”

Related: Man charged with smuggling handguns across Osoyoos border

Louie is well-known in court for his claims that, as a Syilx man on unceded territory, the Crown has no jurisdiction over him. He also declined to agree that he had been prohibited from driving.

During his trial appearance on the driving matters, he repeatedly made similar claims, which Judge Gregory Koturbash was quick to knock down.

“You are bound by the laws of British Columbia,” he said, noting the matter had been decided at the Supreme Court of Canada. “I can’t change the law; I can’t change what the Supreme Court of Canada said.”

Related: Man calls for judge’s arrest, gets trial date

Among his own witnesses, Louie called his mother Maria Wilson, who said when she gave birth to Louie at the St. Martin’s Hospital in Oliver, she named him Senklip. But she told the court she was not allowed to bring him home until she gave him a “Christian name.”

Under pressure, Wilson said she named her son Alex Louie.

“Not Alexander, not anything else, but Alex Louie,” Wilson said. “And I don’t know what you guys are talking about, ‘Alexander this.’ I never did have a son named Alexander, so who do you guys got there? Who is that?”

In her closing arguments, Crown lawyer Ann Lerchs noted driving prohibitions filed for Louie, but Koturbash stopped her short.

Related: Border services and RCMP investigation at Oliver residence

“The issue as I see it is the information has a person charged as Alexander Morgan Louie, and the driving prohibitions are for a person by the name of Alex Louie,” Koturbash said, giving Lerchs some time to come up with a legal argument to account for the discrepancies in name.

Upon returning to the courts, Lerchs argued that Louie had been identified by Herman as the man seen driving on Feb. 1, and as Alex Louie, adding that he has been attending the court dates since his arrest — though Koturbash noted that wasn’t of his own will.

“I don’t have any doubt in my mind that the documents of Alex Louie is prohibited, but the person that’s charged is Alexander Morgan Louie, and the question is: is that the same person, and what is the law with respect to that?”

Koturbash turned back Lerchs’ argument that the similarity of name and Herman identifying Louie was adequate, noting it was a “technical legal issue that needs to be adequately addressed, and not just simply the Crown’s submission.”

After he asked for case law on the issue, Lerchs asked for more time to do more digging on the subject.

The matter is going to the trial co-ordinator to fix a date on Wednesday.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read