When the Donovan brothers appeared before Stettler provincial court last Thursday from the Calgary remand centre via closed-circuit TV, they said they don’t want bail because they’re attending a three-month drug rehabilitation program.
They did, however, plead not guilty to all charges against them in connection with a string of robberies in Stettler. They elected to be tried by judge alone in Court of Queen’s Bench. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 27.
The brothers stood before the camera whispering to each other. Chase, the younger brother, sporting a shaved head with one strip of short spiky hair, waved his arms in seeming disgust.
At one point, Judge G. Yakes reprimanded one of the brothers, saying, “Hold your tongue.”
Chase Gordon Donovan, 19, of no fixed address, is charged with two counts of theft under $5,000, three counts of disguised with intent, robbery with use of a firearm, and assault.
Cruise Daniel Donovan, 23, of no fixed address, is charged with theft under $5,000, two counts of disguised with intent, robbery with a firearm, and aggravated assault. The pair are charged with robbing Stettler’s Royal Hotel on Nov. 12 and the Fas Gas in September and October.
Two masked men wielding a knife and a handgun robbed the Royal Hotel at about 11 p.m. on Nov. 12, terrorizing the senior couple, police reported at the time.
According to the elderly man, one assailant took his wife and started walking away with her. He said he followed them and eventually grabbed a baseball bat that he kept hidden for such emergencies. He said he swung it at the intruders, but one of them took the bat and a fight ensued. The victim’s wife tried to stop the fight and during the scuffle her hands were cut. Stettler EMS transported her to Stettler hospital with non-life threatening injuries. She was treated and released.
According to Cpl. Cameron Russell of the Stettler RCMP, the culprits escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.
After receiving tips, RCMP arrested the brothers Nov. 14 at about 10 p.m. in a Stettler hotel room. They were arrested on an outstanding warrant from Drumheller on charges of armed robbery at the Mac’s store on Nov. 6.