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Young offender accused of killing Ryan Gatzke seeks bail

·2 min read

A young offender charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ryan Gatzke, 27, is seeking bail.

The young offender, who was 17 at the time of Gatzke’s murder in 2019, can’t be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The show cause hearing lasted two hours in North Battleford Provincial Court April 22. The details of what was said during the hearing can’t be published.

Several of Gatzke’s family members attended the hearing, including Gatke’s father from Alberta. Crown Prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt acknowledged to the court how difficult it was for Gatzke’s family to be present today, adding it was the first time they heard the details of how their family member was murdered.

The young offender is also charged with break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, carry a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, possession of a firearm without a license, and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

His co-accused Isaac Melko and Jacob Joseph Ballantyne were charged with second-degree murder, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, carry a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, possession of a firearm without a license, and unauthorized possession of a firearm in a vehicle. Charles Michael Lewis McLean was charged with manslaughter, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle and break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence.

RCMP Major Crimes North arrested the four after an eight-month investigation. According to Battlefords RCMP, police responded to a report of an injured man at a home in Battleford on Oct. 18, 2019. The man, identified as Gatzke, was taken by EMS to the North Battleford Hospital where he was later declared deceased.

Judge Murray Pelletier reserved his decision.

ljoy@glaciermedia.ca

Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist