NHL player to plead guilty in grizzly kill: Crown

NHL defenceman accused of illegal bear hunt in B.C. plans to plead guilty: Crown

Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner (right) throws down with Canucks forward Brandon Prust

Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner (right) throws down with Canucks forward Brandon Prust

By Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – An NHL player accused of illegally shooting a grizzly bear on British Columbia’s central coast intends to plead guilty, says a Crown lawyer.

Clayton Stoner of the Anaheim Ducks faces five charges for a hunt in 2013, but his case was adjourned Friday.

Prosecutor Jim Cryder told a provincial court judge that he spoke with Stoner’s lawyer, who, along with Stoner, did not appear in court.

“Mr. Stoner, through his counsel, would like to enter a plea, as I understand, as soon as possible and dispose of the matter,” Cryder told the judge.

A legal articling student who appeared on behalf of Stoner’s lawyer, Marvin Stern, confirmed that intention to Judge Brent Hoy.

Stoner has never denied the hunt, which sparked outrage after photos published in a Vancouver newspaper two years ago showed him holding a bear’s severed head.

But the former Port McNeill, B.C., resident did not meet residency requirements to have a hunting licence, according to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

Stoner is charged with two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting licence. He also faces separate counts of hunting out of season, hunting without a licence and unlawfully possessing dead wildlife.

Outside court, Cryder said it was not unusual for the case to be delayed.

“It takes time to negotiate things and have agreement,” he said. “It’s a slow process.”

He added that Stoner is not legally required to attend the hearings and a lawyer can enter a plea on his behalf at a future date, which has not been set.

About a dozen people who protested before the hearing and are demanding a ban on trophy hunting were disappointed that the case has been postponed at least three times.

“Clayton Stoner is used to penalties in his hockey career, but this should be the biggest penalty of his life,” said Mary-Sue Atkinson, from North Vancouver.

The bear, which local residents had named Cheeky, was killed in an area known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Paul Lewis is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Arts Advocate of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore driftwood sculptor inspired by Esquimalt Lagoon

Paul Lewis is the 2021 Arts Advocate of the Year

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read