Judge doesn't buy Warlocks motorcycle gang member's 'self-defence' claim on weapon's charges

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A former member of the Drayton Valley chapter of the Warlocks motorcycle gang was convicted of several weapons charges on Friday after a judge called his claims of self-defence "nothing less than an act of vigilante justice". 

Dean McKnight, identified as the once-president of the Drayton Valley Warlocks in RCMP documents filed with the court, was arrested and charged in 2014 amid a police investigation into escalating tensions between rival gangs in the community southwest of Edmonton. 

Court heard that police found a handgun in McKnight's jacket when they arrested him, and then executed a search warrant at his home, recovering a number of other firearms, including a handgun in an unlocked case and a bag full of rifles. In addition to the weapons charges, McKnight was charged with breaching the 10-year weapons prohibition he was subject to at the time of his arrest.

McKnight was also charged with drug possession after officers discovered nearly 200 grams of marijuana in his residence. 


McKnight had argued that he was armed in self-defence, and that he was under duress because of threats from the Hells Angels and their support gang the Dirty Few. He also claimed that some of the firearms found in his house belonged to someone else.

Testifying in his own defence during the trial, McKnight gave testimony about getting "patched" by the Warlocks to get protection after the Hells Angels began trying to do drug deals in his Drayton Valley tattoo shop in 2012. When he resisted, he said he was harassed by members of the Dirty Few.

He denied being the Warlocks' chapter president, and also denied that his house was a clubhouse. He did admit that several Warlocks were living in his house – but he said they were there to help protect him.

McKnight also gave evidence that he suffers from a number of physical and mental illnesses.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil rejected McKnight's arguments, and convicted him on Friday.

"There was no air of reality to the defence of self-defence," Belzil said.

Pre-sentence and psychiatric reports have been ordered ahead of McKnight's sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 12.

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