Coma limbo: Man faces upgraded charges in brutal North Kamloops assault

Kamloops, British Columbia – A man remains in a coma after being severely beaten in a back alley last month in North Kamloops. The victim, identified as Blake Wheeler, is still in critical condition with brain bleeding following the incident on May 8. The suspect, Mattheau Michael Myron Aldridge, 22, is facing one count of aggravated assault in connection with the attack.

During a hearing in Kamloops provincial court, Crown prosecutor Bonnie MacDonald revealed that the assault was captured on high-definition surveillance video. The footage showed Wheeler, heavily intoxicated and struggling to stand, being attacked by Aldridge. The attacker was seen knocking Wheeler to the ground, kicking him in the head multiple times, and forcefully stomping his head against the pavement.

Despite efforts to have Aldridge detained, he was granted bail by Judge George Leven. He will be required to live under house arrest conditions at his father’s farm in the North Thompson. If Wheeler does not survive his injuries, charges against Aldridge could be upgraded to manslaughter or even second-degree murder.

MacDonald emphasized the severity of the situation, stating that Aldridge could face significant prison time if Wheeler does not recover. She described Wheeler as “extremely vulnerable” and “completely incapable of defending himself.” If Wheeler lives and recovers, Aldridge may face a four-year sentence, but if Wheeler does not recover, the sentence could be in the range of seven to eight years.

Aldridge was arrested on May 17 after being identified through the security footage. He had been wanted in connection with the assault after police issued a news release. The case has shocked the community of North Kamloops, prompting concerns about the safety of individuals in vulnerable situations and the need for stronger consequences for violent crimes. Aldridge is scheduled to appear in court again on July 4 for further proceedings.