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Toronto police said that Mr. Sheppard did not have a criminal record in Ontario, but Edmonton police said Alberta had 61 outstanding warrants for his arrest.
The warrants related to allegations that Mr. Sheppard forged checks and cashed them at Money Marts in Alberta, Edmonton police said.
"He was the subject of a substantive fraud, uttering forged documents, stolen property file," said Staff Sergeant Bill Allan of the Edmonton Police Service. "What this guy was doing was he was going to Money Mart and he was cashing cheques for like $98 to himself."
Sheppard, a bike messenger for the last 18 years and a father, had encountered police earlier that night after officers responded to reports of fighting at his girlfriend's George St. apartment just after 9 p.m., sources said.
His girlfriend, Misty Lee Bailey, said in an e-mail to the Sun that he might have been drunk.
Police won't confirm if Sheppard was intoxicated but said Bryant had not been drinking before the crash.
When Sheppard left the apartment, he got into a fight with a homeless man outside the building, police sources said. At some point that evening, he ended up in the back of a police cruiser but was released without charge.
Sgt. Tim Burrows said there was an altercation between Sheppard and Bryant, driving his black Saab convertible, on Bloor St. W., near Bay St., which ended with a minor collision around 9:45 p.m.
The cyclist approached Bryant and a female passenger, then grabbed on to the car, police said.
Bryant drove west on Bloor St. W. with the man clinging to the car until he fell off about 100 metres away on the south side of the street.
Bryant stopped at the nearby Park Hyatt hotel on Avenue Rd. and called police.
Police say Sheppard, 33, grabbed onto a car following an altercation with the driver. They say the driver drove away with Sheppard hanging on. He then fell and suffered fatal injuries.
Sheppard's girlfriend says he was drinking the night he died.
Misty Bailey said Sheppard was drunk when he visited her and he rested and slept, then insisted on going home.
Bailey said she didn't ask him to leave and would have loved for him to stay where she knew he'd be safe.
Sheppard, at one point, was in the back of a police cruiser and Bailey asked police to drive him home, but instead they let Sheppard go, she said.
Police have said they responded to a call about Sheppard barely an hour before his death, but added there were no allegations of criminal activity.
The Ministry of the Attorney General, which administers justice in the province, is treading carefully to avoid any whiff of political interference.
It's hired top Vancouver criminal lawyer Richard Peck to prosecute the case and isolated the bureaucrats who are overseeing the process from Bryant's former Liberal colleagues, like current Attorney General Chris Bentley.
One expert predicts an out-of-province judge will also be recruited to preside over Bryant's case, which made headlines across the country.
"No one for a minute would suggest that a provincial court judge would actually be biased in his favour," said Toronto defence lawyer Jonathan Rosenthal.
"But it certainly would have the apprehension that she would be biased, that she would not be independent, and that's why they'll bring in a judge from another province."
The choice of judge ultimately lies with Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo of the Ontario Court of Justice, who was appointed by Bryant in 2007.
He also appointed associate chief justices Peter Griffiths and John Payne.
Sylvia Gudzowski, Bonkalo's assistant, said the matter is "currently under consideration," but declined further comment.
The high-profile case has already raised questions about whether Bryant - who was released from police custody Tuesday without appearing before a judge - received preferential treatment.
After spending the night in police custody, a clean-shaven Bryant emerged to face the cameras dressed in a dark suit that had been delivered to the station.
But it would have been "almost impossible" to get a timely bail hearing for Bryant, which would have required an out-of-province judge and a prosecutor to avoid any potential conflict of interest, said Rosenthal.
"I wouldn't say it was preferential treatment, I would say it's different treatment," he said.
"Let's face it, it's probably the first time that the police ever arrested the attorney general from the province."
Originally posted by v3_exceed
Driver of the SAAB, continues for 100M until cyclist is no longer attached to car, (I suspect the cyclist let go, as we hear nothing of a severed hand) and Driver calls police.
Originally posted by ipsedixit
The way the press are reporting Bryant's actions reflects a concern for his future political career, I believe. I think there are people in a position to make sure that no dead drunk from St. George and Dundas area is going to wreck the career of a Liberal Party star.
Originally posted by vox2442
This article in the Star has Bryant paying his bill at Danforth and Pape at 9:36pm, and then getting in the initial accident at 9:45 - at Bay and Bloor.