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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Home News Woman facing arson charges has case remanded after refusing legal advice

Woman facing arson charges has case remanded after refusing legal advice

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Woman facing arson charges has case remanded after refusing legal advice
(Herald file photo)

The woman charged with intentionally setting fire to the Senator Allan Bird Memorial Centre considered pleading guilty on Tuesday, but instead had her case remanded until Wednesday.

Gina Beatty, 24, told the court she did not need representation, and understood the seriousness of the charges because her father was an RCMP officer. Beatty is charged with one count of arson, and a second count of assault in connection to an unrelated incident that occurred on Friday.

Judge M. L. Gray said she could not offer legal advice, but strongly suggested Beatty speak with a lawyer before proceeding. Gray said she didn’t think Beatty understood how serious the charges against her were, and remanded the case until Wednesday morning.

Beatty gave a muffled explanation from behind the glass partition in an attempt to clarify why she did not need legal advice. At one point, she interrupted Gray and said, ‘what if I just pled guilty?’

Both Gray and the Crown agreed it would be best to put Beatty on remand until Wednesday given the seriousness of the charges.

Two Prince Albert firefighters spray water over the charred remains of the Senator Allan Bird Memorial Centre in Prince Albert on Friday, April 15, 2022. — Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Fire Department was called to the Senator Allan Bird Centre at 8:30 a.m. on Friday following reports of a fire. They responded with two aerial trucks and two engines and discovered an extensive fire on the east side of the building.

Fire crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings, but the structure was a total loss.

The building was the centre of activity for many Prince Albert Grand Council events and programs. In a statement released Friday afternoon, PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte said the loss of the building was heart-breaking for the community.