MONCTON, N.B. - A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to uttering a threat to cause death to peace officers and was released from jail on conditions, including one that prohibits him from having any contact with a man charged with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of three RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B.
Jasper John Stam, 24, was charged June 9 for an incident that occurred between May 10 and 18. Stam will be sentenced in Moncton provincial court on Sept. 9.
The RCMP have said the charge against Stam is not linked to their investigation into the fatal shootings of constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, Douglas James Larche and Dave Joseph Ross on June 4.
Justin Bourque, 24, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He is also charged with two counts of attempted murder after two other officers were hurt in the shootings.
Stam, wearing a plaid jacket with his brown hair pulled back into a small ponytail, put on a pair of glasses in court and paid close attention to the proceedings.
No agreed statement of facts was presented and no details of the threat were discussed in court.
Asked by Judge Anne Dugas-Horsman if he understood the charge against him and whether his plea was given voluntarily, Stam replied: "Yes."
Defence lawyer Jean Cormier said after lengthy discussions with the Crown, his client decided to plead guilty.
Outside court, Cormier said the charge was slightly amended to make it clear that Stam didn't actually speak to a peace officer when he made the death threat. But he declined to provide further details.
"It is something that will be elaborated upon during the sentencing," he said.
As for the no-contact order involving Bourque, Cormier declined to explain why it was needed or what connection the two men might share.
"I think that will become more obvious on Sept. 9," he said. "The police said ... that this alleged incident of threats, which has been admitted to, was not related to the Bourque incident that we're aware of. I will not go any further than that."
He said he has advised his client not to speak to the media and he suggested that Stam is coping well despite the intense scrutiny surrounding his case.
"He understands the court process," Cormier said. "He accepted it. I believe that his attitude is actually quite positive, considering where he was."
Under the conditions of his release, Stam is prohibited from having direct or indirect access to the Internet and he must not acquire or possess any firearms or prohibited weapons.
Stam has been placed under house arrest at his home in Moncton. After giving the RCMP 48 hours notice, Stam can leave his home for work, medical appointments, meetings with his lawyer and to attend religious services.
He must also get a landline telephone and give the number to the RCMP within the next 10 days. Stam must answer his phone and present himself at the door of his home whenever the Mounties are checking on his compliance with the conditions.
"He accepts all of these conditions and is willing to comply," Cormier told the court.
Dugas-Horsman ordered a pre-sentence report.
Cormier said the maximum penalty for the offence is five years in prison, but he doubts the maximum sentence will be imposed.
A Jasper Stam is "friends" with Bourque on Facebook and supported the young man in a post dated June 7, describing him as "one of the most respectable of my friends."
He also wrote: "he did not do anyone who deserved respect any wrong, not ever."
The Canadian Press has not confirmed that the Jasper Stam who pleaded guilty Wednesday made the comments on Facebook.