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Title: New Charges in Y2K Plot

Source: Ottawa Sun, January 5th, 2000

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Ottawa (Canada) Sun

Wednesday, January 5, 2000
Police suspicions heighten over alleged cop-killing conspiracy

BROCKVILLE -- Two men charged with conspiring to murder a Brockville policeman during millennium celebrations now face an additional charge of threatening to hurt another man.

Lance Williams, 21, of Mallorytown, and Dillon Langlands, 18, of Brockville, each appeared in court briefly yesterday on the conspiracy to commit murder charges.

They were arraigned on the threat charge in connection with allegedly telling Peter Heathfield they would seriously harm fellow Brockville resident John Gresswell.

A source said that Gresswell is Heathfield's older brother.

Gresswell yesterday declined to comment on the case or his relationship with Heathfield.

"I've been advised not to make any comment at this time," Gresswell said.

Williams and Langlands will return to court Friday for a bail hearing while a Brockville youth, who is also charged with conspiring to kill a cop, has a bail hearing scheduled for Jan. 12. The 15-year-old, who can't be named under the Young Offenders Act, has also been charged with marijuana possession.

The alleged conspiracy came to light Thursday after a tipster told police that two men were plotting to murder an officer working at a mobile command centre near the New Year's Eve celebrations on the waterfront and steal his cruiser.

Williams' attorney Michael O'Shaughnessy said he is still waiting for disclosure from the Crown attorney's office.

"I'm confident after the bail hearing my client will be released," O'Shaughnessy said.

O'Shaughnessy added his client is saddened by the charges.

"He's lucky he has a very supportive family," he said.

That support was evident yesterday as close to 50 friends and relatives crammed into the small courtroom.

"I have no doubt this case will go to trial," O'Shaughnessy said.

"These are very, very serious allegations. The trial will tell the tale."

Robert Barr, the lawyer representing Langlands, described his client's experience as "difficult and harrowing."

The 18-year-old is a student at a local community college working to upgrade his high school education, he said.

"Right now I'm focusing on getting him home," Barr said of his client, whose grandfather is a retired United Church minister.

"Then time will be on our side and we'll be able to look with a critical eye to the evidence."

Both lawyers refused to comment on suggestions the incident may have been a prank, or that their clients may have been involved in a role-playing game called Rifts.

"I don't have a sense and I won't comment until I have an informed opinion," said Barr.

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