LLOYDMINSTER – A man who hired a hitman to shoot and kill a rival drug dealer in Lloydminster has died before he can be charged and prosecuted.
According to court documents, Steven Thorne – whose street name was Crazy – hired Christopher Hermkens to kill rival drug dealer Raymond Dumont, 32, in the border town of Lloydminster in April 2019.
“Mr. Thorne was promised $ 100,000 to Hermkens for Mr. Dumont’s death,” Judge Wayne Renke of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton, Alta., Said when convicting Hermkens first degree murder in December 2021.
“At the time charges were laid against Mr. Hermkens and Mr. Moran, there was not enough evidence to prosecute Mr. Thorne,” Edmonton Crown Attorney Dallas Sopko told Wednesday. SASKTODAY.ca. “The evidence against Thorne surfaced as the case unfolded. A decision on whether or not to prosecute Thorne would be made after the trial against Hermkens. Before that decision could be made, Mr. Thorne died.
According to an obituary on McCaw Funeral Service, Steven William Frank Thorne died at his home in Lloydminster on December 4, 2021, aged 34.
Hermkens – whose street name was Cage – and Mark Moran, were charged with first degree murder in Dumont’s death. Hermkens was convicted in December 2021 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Judge Renke, in his ruling, said the murder was planned and deliberate. The court ordered that the publication of Witness AB’s name be banned.
“The plan to kill Mr. Dumont originated in conversations attested by AB between Mr. Hermkens and Mr. Thorne which began in March and April , before Mr. Dumont was released from prison, at least a few weeks before the murder, ”Judge Renke said.
The dealers did not want to compete with Dumont
The setting for events surrounding Dumont’s death was the illegal drug and gun trade in Lloydminster and Edmonton, Justice Renke said.
“Sir. Hermkens was, as counsel for the defense [Paul Moreau] said, ‘immersed’ in this environment. “
During Hermkens’ trial, Crown Attorney Dallas Sopko told the court that Thorne and his associates “decided it would be safer to sell drugs in Lloydminster without competition from Dumont.”
“Based on this evidence, I conclude that the Crown has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the murder of Mr. Dumont was committed under an arrangement whereby the money was to pass from Mr. Thorne and [another drug dealer] to Mr. Hermkens in return for causing Mr. Dumont’s death, ”Judge Renke ruled.
When Hermkens was hired to assassinate Dumont, he allegedly recruited his friend Mark Moran to help him. Moran was on trial with Hermkens in 2021, but the judge separated the two co-defendants after Moran’s lawyer fell ill and was unable to appear in court in person. Moran’s trial without a jury is now scheduled for March 2023. The charges against Moran have not been proven in court.
According to court documents, Hermkens had never met Dumont, so he asked Moran to identify him. Hermkens and Moran attended the murder scene separately in two stolen vehicles and at 7:37 p.m. on April 27, 2019, Moran pulled up beside Dumont and his girlfriend Chelsey Hart in Lloydminster. Dumont was driving a car owned by Hart. Hart was in the passenger seat. She was the mother of his child and they lived together.
Hart testified that she heard someone say, “Is that him? Dumont was hit in the head and Hart was hit by shrapnel. When Dumont died, his foot got stuck on the gas pedal and the car accelerated, crossed the street, through a fence, through a field, and into the side of nearby Rendell Park Elementary School. The autopsy report stated that “spasms in the muscles of the lower limbs could have put the foot on the accelerator pedal of the car”.
AB said that after the shooting Hermkens boasted: “I had him, his wife, pretty sure I had the child too.”
Court documents reveal Thorne was a high profile drug dealer who had runners under him selling drugs. He sold methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in Lloydminister, Saskatoon, Onion Lake, Vermillion, Alta., And Wainwright, Alta.
A witness said that “a lot of people were dealing drugs” for Thorne, who brought his drugs out of Edmonton. Thorne used the Wickr app – an encrypted messaging platform – to complete drug deals.
Conflicts over a woman
Chelsey Hart has said that while her boyfriend Dumont was in jail in 2018, she slept with rival drug dealer Steven Thorne and Little J (Jason Krysta). This outraged Dumont and when he got out of prison he took Krysta’s car in retaliation.
“Problems have been brewing since 2018,” Judge Renke said.
According to the Crown, Dumont was released from prison days before he was assassinated and he made known his anger against Thorne.
The Crown said Hermkens was motivated to kill Dumont by the $ 100,000 payment Thorne promised because Hermkens wanted to buy his new girlfriend a Porsche SUV for $ 95,000.
“There was nothing spontaneous or impulsive about what happened,” Judge Renke said. “Sir. Hermkens walked up to Mr. Dumont, stood just outside the passenger door of the car a few yards from Mr. Dumont in the driver’s seat and opened fire. The weapon was aimed at Mr. Dumont Mrs. Hart, who was right next to Mr. Hermkens, received only a minor wound. Twelve shots were fired in seconds. One bullet killed Mr. Dumont.
Hermken’s 25-year sentence began on May 6, 2019, the day he was remanded in custody.
The city of Lloydminster borders the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.