Lakes District News file photo Burns Lake resident Albert Giesbrecht was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Raymond George Bishop last May.

B.C. man charged with first-degree murder to be released on bail

Family of man killed “shocked and outraged”

  • Nov. 27, 2017 3:55 p.m.

Burns Lake resident Albert Giesbrecht, who was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Raymond George Bishop last May, will be released on bail soon.

According to unconfirmed reports, he could be released as early as Thursday.

Giesbrecht appeared in Smithers Supreme Court last week for a judicial interim release hearing (bail hearing), which is where a judge decides whether to release the accused person from custody while they wait for trial.

Although the judge had indicated that a decision on his release would not be made until Dec. 11, the court decided last Friday that Giesbrecht could be released on a “recognizance of bail,” which comes with the imposition of a financial penalty if the accused does not follow the conditions of release.

His sureties – Calvin and Debra Giesbrecht – signed an agreement Monday which makes them liable to pay $75,000 if Albert fails to attend court or breaches a condition of his bail order.

As part of the 22 conditions of his bail order, Albert is not allowed to go to the area known as Southside, which is located south of Burns Lake. He also must not have any contact or go to any residence, school or workplace of 24 people, including some members of Bishop’s family.

He must be confined to his Burns Lake residence under house arrest, 24/7 commencing upon release. The only times he may be absent from his residence are in an ambulance for a medical emergency, or in the presence of one or both of his sureties to travel to a probation office or to attend scheduled court appearances.

In addition, he must surrender all travel documents, including any passport, and must not obtain any further travel documents. He must also not possess or use any device capable of accessing the Internet.

Jennifer Petersen, whose aunt is Albert’s ex-wife, said the 22 bail order conditions are “loose,” and that they make her feel unsafe.

“The property he is going to be on is five acres, which borders with forests. Also, anybody is able to go there… someone could bring him a gun,” she said.

Petersen said she was shocked when she learned that Albert would be released.

“I was shocked, completed floored and gutted by it,” she said. “This response from the judge was so unexpected. We all thought this was a formality. No one thought he could get out and come back to the community.”

Her Facebook post asking for “justice for Ray” and urging residents to contact Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and Mike Farnsworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, had been shared almost 200 times as of Monday morning.

Petersen added that the bail release of someone charged with first-degree murder is a broader issue that needs to be discussed.

“This shouldn’t be allowed,” she said. “The system needs change, this should never happen.”

Sheralyn Bishop, Raymond’s daughter, said her family was also surprised by Albert’s release.

“As a family, we’re outraged,” she said. “We never saw this coming, and I think we’re all still in shock.”

The 22 bail order conditions also didn’t make her feel safe.

“The conditions have minimal monitoring,” she said. “There’s no real way to monitor him round the clock. People can come and go to his residence as they please.”

“Basically we feel very unsafe as a family,” she added.

Sheralyn said her family will be pursuing an appeal process to ask for Albert to wait for trial in custody.

When asked about her father, Sheralyn said Raymond was a good neighbour and friend.

“He worked hard his whole life and he took care of the people he loved,” she said. “He loved his community and he died protecting it.”


 

@flavio_nienow
newsroom@ldnews.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Cricket players get interrupted by racist remark in Courtenay

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Courtenay woman desperately searches for missing dog

Anyone who owns a dog will understand the anguish of a Courtenay… Continue reading

Valley chef Ronald St. Pierre to be inducted into BC Restaurant Hall of Fame

A Comox Valley chef will soon join other culinary legions in the… Continue reading

YANA Ride in Comox raises thousands for families with medical needs

In its seventh year, the event attracted the maximum 600 riders on Sunday

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

3L Developments reviews options

As a result of the recent BC Supreme Court decision that favoured… Continue reading

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read