Two people accused of killing OPP officer in first court appearance

CAYUGA — Two people accused of killing OPP officer Greg Pierzchala on December 27 on the border of Hagersville and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation are still awaiting a bail hearing.

The two accused – Randall McKenzie, 25 and Brandi Stewart-Speary, 30 appeared in court via video link Tuesday afternoon in their first appearance since the shooting death of Cst. Pierzchala in late December.

The two accused appeared before judge Bruce Phillips in a Cayuga courtroom yesterday, with the lawyer for one of the accused saying it was too early to decide whether or not they should be granted bail.

Both of the accused have been in custody since Cst. Pierzchala was shot dead on a Tuesday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. in late December while responding to a call of a stolen 2021 black Chevy pick-up truck in the ditch on Townline Road between Hagersville and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

During a later press conference, the OPP commissioner says the officer was “ambushed”, with no chance to draw his weapon or defend himself.

Police spent the next few hours combing nearby fields and bushes searching for Stewart-Sperry and McKenzie, even going so far as to issue a shelter in place emergency order to local residents in southern Ontario as they sought the wanted suspects, who were considered armed and dangerous.

McKenzie was out on bail at the time of the shooting and had a long rap sheet that included numerous violent offences, including firearms offences, and was actually being sought by police for failing to appear for a September court date.

The shooting has resulted in calls for bail reform for violent offenders who may pose a risk to public safety.

Kim Edwards is representing Stewart-Speary. The lawyer said bail hearings for homicides can only be heard by the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario.

Pierzchala was only 28 when he died, and had just learned on the day he was shot that he had passed his 10-month probation.

The two accused will re-appear in court on Feb. 21 in Cayuga.

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