On April 26, 2011, in Calgary Provincial Court charges against the three individuals that were charged over the killing of a wild horse in 2009 were withdrawn by the Crown. At this point WHOAS would like to clarify the information as I know over this incident.
In August of 2009 Crime Stoppers did a segment over the killing of three wild horses in April of that year in which it stated that WHOAS was offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible. Subsequently the RCMP advised us that they had indeed received information from informants and as a result had arrested the 3 adults and youth for this offence. Quite quickly we began to receive phone calls from individuals stating that they were the ones who had provided the information and that they were eligible for the reward money. When speaking with these people I continually informed them that the reward would be payable upon conviction. A few of these people accepted this and never bothered to phone again. However, one individual in particular, Chuck Kollin, continually harrassed and threatened us demanding that he be paid the reward money immediately since these 3 had been arrested. He was continually advised that the payment of the reward was always upon conviction. I had approached Crime Stoppers to seek their help in distributing this money if it was to be paid out. However, the RCMP Crime Stoppers refused to help me as did the Calgary Crime Stoppers. I, myself, felt we were abandoned by the system in dealing with this alleged confidential informant. This was despite his onslaught against myself and my wife at that time. This caused great fear for my wife for our safety and we had to hire a lawyer to represent us and WHOAS to deal with this person. Again this did not work. He began to write to my employer defaming me to them; he wrote to the bar association over our lawyer’s refusing also to submit to his demands for the money. He went as far as to get hold of some of our private donors again defaming me over my refusal to bow to this pressure.
All along stories continually surfaced that the accused in this case had been set up by someone just after the reward money was announced. It is my understanding that the accused were not charged with the shooting of the 3 horses in April, but rather one that was supposedly shot in September of 2009. Of this I’m not totally sure because we were not privileged to this information even though we were personally having to deal with Mr. Kollin. Thoughout the time up to the date of the trial I always believed due to my experience that there was something wrong with this case. I would pass any information along to the proper authorities.
Why would someone be so urgent to get the money and why would somebody shoot and kill horses so close to where they lived and worked and that draws the public to this area? This is my own personal belief, as I have also photographed wild horses directly across the road from Mountain Aire Lodge. WHOAS has never come out and demanded blind justice against any individuals in the killing of any of the horses we have found. Even in my statements to the media, I always expressed my belief that the judicial system has to have the chance to work properly.
It is always unfortunate when people are brought before the courts when they are not quilty of any offence and I know this personally myself. WHOAS continues to hope that whoever did commit these offences will finally be brought to justice. You can be assured that the reward funds are intact in a trust fund, in the event that it may be necessary in the future to hopefully bring the perpetrator(s) to court. WHOAS will always continue to stand up for the protection of the wild horses of Alberta, which is our mandate.
I felt it very necessary to finally present this information to all our members and supporters as I was not able to beforehand due to being subpoenaed to court over this matter.