Don’t expect the affable couple of Edouard and Jessica Maurice to open their doors to strangers any day soon at their acreage south of Okotoks.
Back in February 2018, Edouard was defending his home when he gave a warning shot that ricocheted into the wrist of Ryan Randy Watson — who was, according to court proceedings, looking for some loose change for gas money in one of the Maurices’ vehicles at 5:30 in the morning.
Eddie and his family had to go through the trauma of him being charged with several gun violations and facing potential jail time as a result.
To the relief of his thousands of supporters across the nation, all of the charges were dropped in June of 2018. But it turns out the Maurices aren’t in the clear.
Eddie had another person appear on his property earlier this month — serving him with a $100,000 lawsuit from Ryan Watson for personal damages.
The giant thunk heard around the Foothills on Monday night were the collective jaws of Foothills residents’ hitting the floor while muttering ‘You gotta be kidding me?’ Or maybe even something a bit worse.
If Watson needs help, hey, let social services or other agencies help with his issues, but let’s not put any burden on the Maurices — who were victimized by a rural crime, a hot-button issue in this area.
Edouard, who was alone with his one-year-old daughter at the time of Watson’s pop in, has had to deal with the trauma of the four-month court ordeal and you can be guaranteed he has more than a raised eyebrow when a car drives by that he doesn’t recognize. Now, he and his family have to face the same thing due to a ridiculous lawsuit.
You don’t have to guess who Foothills residents believe is the real victim in this issue. That message will be clear when Highwood MLA RJ Sigurdson and Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer host a rural crime meeting Oct. 1 at the Foothills Centennial Centre.