Charges dropped against Okotoks rancher accused of shooting trespasser

Charges have been dropped against Edouard Maurice, the Okotoks rancher accused of shooting at trespassers on his property.

Maurice appeared in Okotoks court Friday morning.

Around 25 supporters of the Maurice family were gathered outside the Okotoks courthouse by 9 a.m., holding signs in a show of solidarity with the man whose case has become a lightning rod for locals who say rural crime is out of control.

Police say the young father and property owner shot at two trespassers on his rural property near Okotoks in the early morning hours of Feb. 24. The RCMP said a man and woman were “rummaging” through a vehicle when the shots were fired.

Ryan Watson was shot in the arm in the incident and taken to hospital. Watson has been charged with trespassing at night, mischief to property, theft, drug and probation charges.

Stephanie Ann Martens, 30, of Okotoks was later arrested and faces charges of trespassing at night, theft and mischief.

An online petition calling for the charges to be dropped received more than 2,000 signatures.

Full article: Calgary Sun