Bell: Take that! Eddie Maurice fights back against bad guy
October 8, 2019
October 8, 2019 10:09 PM EDT
Rancher Eddie Maurice and his wife Jessica are overwhelmed with support for their legal battle. Eddie is being sued by a man who was attempting to steal from his rural property.File / Postmedia
Talk about fighting back.
If anybody shouldn’t have to fight back, if anybody should be able to go on with his life, it’s Eddie Maurice.
But we live in strange times where everything is upside down.
“We’re going to fight this every step of the way,” says Eddie Maurice’s wife Jessie, on this day when Eddie sues the bad guy who sued him.
“We’re not going to tolerate victims being sued by criminals who’ve committed crimes against them.”
Jessie is being polite when she says it’s a slap in the face, Eddie being sued by the guy who was up to no good on their property.
Now, they get to tell their side of the story and the toll it’s taken on their family.
Rancher Eddie and his wife Jessica Maurice were among many who came out for a rural crime town hall meeting with the Hon. Doug Schweitzer Minister of Justice and Solicitor General at the Foothills Centennial Centre in Okotoks on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. Darren Makowichuk / Postmedia
One early morning in February last year, on Eddie Maurice’s birthday, a guy named Ryan Watson and a sidekick trespass on the property of Eddie and his family, near Okotoks.
Eddie is alone with his 11-month-old daughter.
In Eddie’s counterclaim, he recounts how Ryan and his pal unlawfully enter his family’s vehicles parked in front of their home “with the apparent intent to burglarize.”
By the way, throughout Eddie’s counterclaim, Watson is referred to as the Convicted Criminal Trespasser.
Eddie alleges Watson was hopped up on meth. Eddie believed Watson could harm his family.
Eddie says he warned Watson to stop going through his vehicles. Watson did not.
Eddie fired a warning shot from his .22 rifle. He aimed at the ground in front of the family vehicles. Eddie was on the front porch and couldn’t fire upwards because of an overhanging awning.
Watson didn’t give a damn about the shot. Eddie fired a second warning shot aimed at the ground between the two vehicles while Watson was inside one of them.
Watson and his partner high-tailed it out of there. We later found out Watson was hit in the forearm in what was said to be a ricocheting shot.
Eddie phoned the Mounties. About two hours later the cops showed up with guns drawn and handcuffs ready and arrested Eddie. Months later and after six court appearances, the prosecutor withdrew the charges.
Last month, Watson sued Eddie for $100,000. Watson pointed to his wounded forearm, the pain and discomfort, migraine headaches, emotional upset, severe fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder.
That’s not the whole laundry list of alleged woes.
On Tuesday, Eddie sues Watson.
After that February morning, Eddie has nightmares and fears a repeat of what had happened.
He worries for the safety of his wife and two young daughters, the oldest suffering like her dad.
His wife Jessie needed counselling and medication and suffered a miscarriage. Eddie and Jessie and their kids became isolated from their extended family.
Eddie missed work. At Jessie’s popular doggie daycare, Eddie’s wife had to delay a planned expansion.
Watson wants $100,000. Eddie’s number is $150,000 and “punitive damages to deter convicted criminals from launching lawsuits against their innocent victims.”
At this point, a whole lot of people are no doubt saying: Right on!
Doug Schweitzer is the province’s top lawman. He speaks out as few politicians do, since many worship at the altar of political correctness.
He’s frustrated knowing Eddie is still being dragged through the courts.
“It could have been anyone in rural Alberta and they could be facing this same re-victimization. This is wrong. This is not justice.”
Rancher Eddie and his wife Jessica Maurice were among many who came out for a rural crime town hall meeting with the Hon. Doug Schweitzer Minister of Justice and Solicitor General at the Foothills Centennial Centre in Okotoks on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia
Schweitzer says he’s taking a serious look at what the provincial government can do to make sure no one else faces a crap show like the one Eddie and his family endures.
For Eddie’s wife Jessie, it’s disheartening to be back in the court system.
She and Eddie believe the so-called justice system failed them. They have lost faith in it and they are far from alone.
Watson got a tap on the wrist for his wrongdoing. It wasn’t even a slap on the wrist. At least the judge didn’t hug him.
Eddie was put through the wringer and then is sued by Watson. The Maurice family will relive that February early morning all over again. They will have to fight all over again.
Your blood just has to boil. What’s right, what’s wrong? What’s good, what’s evil? What is justice, what is truth?
The people running the show in this country have lost their way and, because of them, we are losing ours.
“We weren’t the bad guys here,” says Jessie, speaking what she shouldn’t have to speak.
“Eddie wasn’t the bad guy.”
No, he wasn’t. But it’s become harder and harder to see if that even matters.