A 46-year-old New Hazelton man facing more than two dozen charges including assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, robbery, forcible confinement and a number of firearms offences has reversed a decision to withdraw his guilty pleas.
Lane Peepchuk appeared in Smithers provincial court via video Feb. 12 for a hearing that had been scheduled for him to name new counsel for trial on the charges, some of which date to April 2017.
Peepchuk was a fugitive for approximately a month-and-a-half before Terrace RCMP took him down using police service dogs on May 20, 2018.
During his incarceration since that time, Peepchuk had entered guilty pleas to some of the charges and a sentencing date was set. Later, he sought to change those pleas causing his lawyer to withdraw.
On Feb. 5, he attempted to adjourn the case until late March so he could retain an attorney who was on vacation, but Judge Shannon Keyes did not want to delay the proceedings any longer and ordered him to obtain alternative counsel and report back this week.
On Feb. 12, defence attorney Michael Murphey agreed to go back on the record and re-entered his guilty pleas before Judge Judith Doulis.
The case was adjourned until Feb. 19 to set a sentencing date.