Man threatens to shoot Stettler woman, burn down her house

Tells court he would not have carried through with threats

An Edmonton man threatened to shoot his Stettler girlfriend’s mom with a shotgun and burn her house down, but told the court he wouldn’t have followed through with the threats.

Mathew James Willis appeared in Stettler provincial court via CCTV from Edmonton Remand Centre Aug. 1 facing charges of uttering threats to cause bodily harm, uttering threats and harassment.

“It was more of an expression,” Willis told the court. “It was definitely wrong and I shouldn’t have spoken that way.”

Crown prosecutor Blair Brandon recommended 15 days jail for each charge because “of the persistence of the behaviour and specificity of the threat.” He also requested a DNA order.

Defence Rodney Clark told the judge Willis is entitled to one and a half days for each day he has served in remand since being arrested July 20. Clark also opposed the DNA order.

Clark told the court that Willis believed his girlfriend’s mother was interfering in their relationship. He said Willis spent his youth in group homes and because he doesn’t have extended family, a personal romantic relationship was all that more important to him.

Clark asked the judge for 12 months probation instead of the 18 months the crown requested.

Judge J.D. Holmes sentenced Willis to 15 days jail concurrent on each count, time served. He also ordered a DNA sample be taken, 12 months probation and ordered a five-year ban on owning firearms.

“The incidents themselves are disturbing,” said Judge Holmes.

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