St. Albert man avoids jail time after being caught with replica guns
Andrew Cullihall arrested after high-risk takedown in October
By: Amy Crofts
| Posted: Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 06:00 am
A man arrested for wielding a replica pellet gun and CO2 pistol outside a St. Albert home in October has avoided jail time with a suspended sentence.
Andrew Cody Cullihall appeared in St. Albert court Monday and pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace.
On Oct. 14 St. Albert RCMP responded to a call of a man crouched under a tree holding a rifle in the front yard of a St. Albert home. Three officers arrived at the house around 2:45 a.m. and found a man – later identified as Cullihall – dressed in a camouflage jacket standing with his chest against the tree.
A high-risk takedown ensued.
Police arrested Cullihall and officers seized a CO2 pistol, which was tucked behind his back, as well as an AR15 replica pellet gun. Both weapons appeared to be real guns and the AR15 replica had been painted completely black to look real.
RCMP also found liquor and a Halloween mask behind the tree.
Duty counsel Zane Pocha told the court Cullihall intended the incident to be a “practical joke” and was “trying to scare his girlfriend.”
The 25-year-old addressed the court and said his behaviour that night was atypical. He said he has abstained from alcohol and any activities relating to firearms since the incident.
Judge Bruce Garriock noted the takedown could have ended tragically as RCMP treat weapons calls as high-risk situations. He took into account Cullihall’s early guilty plea and lack of criminal record.
Possession of a weapon, or an imitation of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, can net up to 10 years in prison.
Cullihall was given a one-year suspended sentence and a $100 victim fine surcharge. He will also be prohibited from possessing a firearm for three years.
If Cullihall fails to abide by the conditions of his probation – one of which is to abstain from alcohol and other intoxicating substances – the charges could be brought back to court and he could be re-sentenced.