Hockey star convicted of assault causing bodily harm
A former local junior B hockey standout and the current leading scorer for the Thompson Rivers University hockey team has been found guilty of assault causing bodily harm.
But, it remains to be seen whether the criminal conviction will affect his status on the squad.
Colten de Frias was convicted on Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Kamloops provincial court, following a two-day trial in October.
The 21-year-old, who played out his junior-hockey eligibility last year as one of the offensive leaders on the Kamloops Storm, was arrested in the early-morning hours of Oct. 23, 2011, after an altercation outside a downtown bar.
Court heard de Frias punched 20-year-old Andrew Giddens twice in the face in a Victoria Street parking lot, breaking the man's jaw, splitting his lip open and causing damage to four teeth.
"I have an email in to the league president just to see because we do have a policy pertaining to conduct," TRU WolfPack hockey coach Chris Hans told KTW when asked if the legal trouble will impact whether de Frias remains on the squad.
"I just wanted to consult with our league first. The offence occurred prior to him joining our hockey team. I really want to consult with the league and Ken Olynyk before we do anything. It's unfortunate all around."
De Frias claimed at trial to have been standing up for a female friend who he claimed had been pushed by Giddens earlier in the night. He also claimed he was acting in self-defence.
Kamloops provincial court Judge Chris Cleavely dismissed both of those notions, calling de Frias' version of events "unreliable" and "fabricated."
"The foundation of the defence case is so weak," Cleavely said. "Mr. de Frias, likely because of his excessive alcohol consumption, was in a foul mood and he lashed out at Mr. Giddens for no justifiable reason."
The WolfPack play in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League, a six-team circuit that includes the Eastern Washington University Eagles, who play in Cheney, Wash.
"That was one thing that came to my mind, also, was being able to cross the border," Hans said.
"I'm actually a parole officer by trade and there are ways to do it. If they're going to be supervised, the U.S. will often grant the request. There are ways to work around it. Generally, the concern the U.S. has is with the severity of the offence and the likelihood of the person re-offending in the States."
Noting the club is on a break until Jan. 5, Hans said there is plenty of time to determine what sanctions, if any, might be imposed on de Frias.
Sentencing is set for Jan. 17.
Crown has indicated it will be seeking compensation for Giddens' medical costs as part of de Frias' punishment.
Through 11 games this season, de Frias leads the TRU WolfPack in scoring with eight goals and nine assists. He was the Kamloops Storm's leading scorer last year, tallying 95 points in 48 games.