© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
An Island man who was on trial for his role in the armed robbery of a drug dealer was found guilty Monday in P.E.I. Supreme Court.
Jason Norman Yeo showed little emotion while he listened to Justice Ben Taylor’s verdict as the judge spent about an hour explaining the reasons for his decision.
Taylor found Yeo guilty of armed robbery for his part in planning the 2012 robbery of convicted drug dealer Dean Fairhurst in Emyvale.
Derry Ian Bird was also recently found guilty of robbing Fairhurst and his accomplice Chase James Roper has been serving out a four-year sentence for his part in the incident.
In May 2012, Roper and Bird burst into Fairhurt’s home where they tied him up and stole drugs with a street value of more than $24,000.
Taylor found Yeo guilty of helping to plan the robbery so Roper and Bird could pay off debts to him.
During Yeo’s trial, Taylor heard from several witnesses who were connected to the crime, including his co-accused and after close scrutiny he found them to be credible.
Taylor said testimony from all of the key witnesses didn’t conflict on major points and there was no evidence it changed because of threats of harsh treatment by the authorities or the promise of leniency in their own cases.
In Roper’s case, the debt stemmed from an incident in Montreal during which the police found more than $30,000 in cash in Yeo’s hotel room.
Roper and his girlfriend reported a fight in Yeo’s room and when the police arrived they found the money inside a bag that contained two large bundles of cash.
During the trial the court heard that Yeo blamed Roper for part of the loss.
Taylor said that incident provided a small but significant piece of credible evidence about Yeo’s part in the robbery.
Although Yeo wasn’t with Roper and Bird when they robbed Fairhurst, Taylor found he evidence showed he instigated the robbery on the “flimsy claim” that Roper owed him money from the Montreal incident.
After hearing the verdict, Crown attorney Cindy Wedge said she was ready to proceed to sentencing immediately, but defence lawyer Mitch MacLeod asked for an adjournment to give him time to prepare his submissions.
Yeo, who has been in custody since his arrest, was also recently found guilty of trafficking cocaine in an unrelated incident and will be back in court March 31 for sentencing on both charges.