New sentencing date set for former cop
The former Innisfail RCMP officer who was convicted of criminal harassment, extortion and mortgage fraud is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 6.
Hoa Dong La’s sentencing hearing was scheduled during a July 19 appearance in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer. The sentencing could occur earlier than Sept. 6 depending on the judge and lawyers’ schedules.
La was found guilty of 14 charges: two charges of criminal harassment, two counts of extortion and 10 counts of fraud with regards to rental properties and interactions with his tenants in properties around Innisfail and Bowden. He was found guilty on March 23 by Justice David Gates after a trial held in late January and early February. La has resigned from the RCMP.
Sentencing in the case was originally scheduled for June 6. During that appearance defence counsel Ian McKay asked for an adjournment to address concerns around documentation that was received in part after the trial was concluded. McKay had been hoping to get more information on La’s file from Veterans Affairs and regarding video taken from in-car cameras that were installed in RCMP vehicles La was using.
During the July 19 court appearance, Chris Evans appeared for McKay. He said an application for further disclosure, consisting of the Veterans Affairs information and the videos, was being withdrawn because the information had been received.
McKay had said during the June 6 appearance he was considering a mistrial application. No applications were made during the July 19 appearance and instead Evans asked to set a date for sentencing.
Gates expressed frustration with the delays.
“This should have been dealt with months ago,” Gates said of the documentation issues.
Gates inquired if Crown prosecutor Leah Boyd had any concerns with La remaining out of custody until sentencing. Boyd did not state an opinion and Gates reminded La that he is to continue to abide by the conditions of his release while he awaits sentencing.