MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – A former Winnipeg television news director accused of robbing banks in Alberta has been granted bail.
But Stephen Vogelsang remains in custody in Medicine Hat, Alta., because he faces the same charges in Saskatchewan.
Vogelsang, who is 54, is charged with robbing two banks in Medicine Hat, three in Regina and one in Saskatoon.
Judge Darwin Greaves of Medicine Hat provincial court agreed Wednesday to let Vogelsang return to Winnipeg to arrange his affairs, then he must turn himself in for a psychiatric assessment to determine if he can be held criminally responsible.
However, Vogelsang was to be transferred to Regina to answer to bank robbery charges there on July 8, Oct. 13 and Oct. 18; he is also charged in a bank robbery in Saskatoon on July 31.
Vogelsang was a journalism instructor at Red River College in Winnipeg from 2002 until 2011, and before that, he worked as a sports anchor at CKY, which is now CTV Winnipeg, before becoming news director.
He is accused of robbing banks in Medicine Hat on Oct. 19 and 20.
Defence lawyer Greg White read in court some of what he called unsolicited letters from Vogelsang’s friends, colleagues and supporters.
One said Vogelsang’s alleged actions were “totally out of character.”
Dean Sawatzky, a Calgary-based teacher, testified he’s known Vogelsang since Grade 2, and they remain good friends, including going on holidays together.
Part of the bail condition is that Sawatzky has to go with Vogelsang on the trip to Winnipeg and back to Medicine Hat, be with him 24 hours a day and contact police if any release conditions are broken. Sawatzky also has to put up a $5,000 surety.
Vogelsang’s next court appearance in Medicine Hat is set for Jan. 23. (Medicine Hat News)
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. The previous version misspelled Vogelsang’s first name