Guilty verdict aimed at ending Coalmont feud

Gatzke sentenced to 30 months strict probation for mischief

  • May. 19, 2015 2:00 p.m.

A guilty verdict has been handed down in what a provincial court judge has dubbed “the feud in Coalmont.” He said he hopes it will mark the end of legal problems in the tiny village.

Marianna Gatzke was sentenced to 30 months of strict probation after being found guilty of two counts of mischief Thursday in Princeton Court.

“People out there need to know this is done,” Judge Gale Sinclair said while handing down the sentence.

Gatzke’s conviction follows disturbing and escalating events that took place between April 2011 and May 2013.

During that time Gatzke would grind metal late at night in her yard while yelling profanities, court heard.

Several witnesses testified that during those two years they were often awakened late at night by the sound of Gatzke throwing wood against metal of some kind.

During Thursday’s testimony neighbour Neil Anderson, a retired teacher and now part-time library employee, said he stopped walking by Gatzke’s house several years ago because of signage on the property.

“Things started appearing, signs. They said ‘murder,’ ‘split the guts.’ I stopped walking over there,” he said.

During that time period Gatzke also played the words ‘murder, murder, murder’ through speakers in her yard loudly enough for her neighbours to hear. She directed floodlights in the yards of some of her neighbours while they were outside and pointed car headlights into houses, testimony revealed.

During the trial one neighbour stated: “I lay awake wondering why she does this to us,” Judge Sinclair recalled during his sentencing.

“You should be ashamed of your actions,” he said.

Gatzke represented herself throughout the five-day trial, which lasted longer than some murder trials. Sinclair said he gave Gatzke more leeway than he would a lawyer because she didn’t know all the proper procedures.

“I gave Miss Gatzke considerable leeway in this case as I do anyone self representing. That’s why this took longer,” he said.

Gatzke’s defence centred around her neighbours and the RCMP conspiring against her. She said neighbours also made noise while building houses, and cutting down trees.

Following the verdict, Gatzke did not accept responsibility for her actions.

“I haven’t done this so I don’t know what to say. I think it is very biased,” Gatzke said before the judge deliberated on sentencing.

 

As part of her probation order Gatzke cannot have direct or indirect contact with many of her neighbours. She must refrain from making noise, audible to her neighbours, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and she cannot direct lights to her neighbours’ properties. During daylight hours she cannot make unusual, disruptive or loud noises.

 

 

Just Posted

Princeton mayor not ready to hit the gas on bus plan

Council to discuss Greyhound proposal

Start a new family Christmas tradition this Sunday in Princeton

Dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol takes place tomorrow

Passersby help stop spread of Cawston coop fire

Two people driving by Saturday woke a family and helped stop the spread of a fire in a chicken coop

Video: Update one man arrested in Okanagan Falls

The RCMP has requested the school go into lockdown

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

Summerland’s Justin Kripps completes first double-medal weekend of career

High-powered Canadian bobsledders celebrate four-man silver at World Cup in Igls

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

Most Read