Home-invasion charges stayed against two Abbotsford men

Witnesses could not be located to testify in trial for Jared Klade and Michael Lopeke.

Charges have been stayed against two Abbotsford men accused of being involved in a violent home invasion in November 2010.

Jared Klade, 25, and Michael Lopeke, 24, were each charged with using a firearm in the commission of an offence, break and enter, unlawful confinement, and using an imitation firearm.

Their trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 15, but their  charges were stayed.

Neil McKenzie, communications counsel with the provincial Criminal Justice Branch, said several Crown witnesses could not be located and served with subpoenas to attend on the trial date.

McKenzie said Crown had applied to have the evidence provided by the witnesses at the preliminary inquiry entered as evidence at the trial, but this was not approved.

“In the absence of the witnesses, there was no longer a substantial likelihood of conviction and, as a result, Crown directed a stay of proceedings,” he said.

McKenzie said Crown counsel had sought an adjournment of the trial date, but that application was also turned down.

The home invasion occurred in the 33200 block of Robertson Avenue in Abbotsford on Nov. 5, 2010, when two men with guns broke into a home believed to contain thousands of dollars in cash.

Police at the time said five or six people who had been in the home were confined and assaulted. One escaped, leading to police being called to the scene.

Police at the time said they believed the suspects were among a group that had allegedly broken away from the Duhre Group – believed to be the dominant gang in the city at the time.

Police said the splinter group was trying to take over drug-supply lines in Abbotsford.

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