Preliminary inquiry set for alleged Kootenay bank robbers

Two people charged in a series of hold-ups at local financial institutions will have their preliminary inquiries on January 28 and 29.

Two people charged in a series of hold-ups at local financial institutions will have their preliminary inquiries on January 28 and 29.

Andrew Stevenson, 34, appeared in Nelson provincial court today by videolink from jail in Kamloops, still using the crutches he threw off in a September 15 escape attempt.

Stevenson faces 21 charges in the robberies of the Kootenay Currency Exchange in Nelson in which a shot was fired, as well as the Nelson and District Credit Union, Kootenay Savings in Castlegar, and Johnny’s Grocery in Robson in March and April, plus two break-ins at Castlegar pharmacies.

The counts include robbery, possession of a restricted weapon, pointing a firearm, and possession of stolen property over $5,000.

His co-accused, Krista Kalmikoff, 26, is accused in the Nelson robberies and Castlegar break-ins. She did not appear in court today.

Both were arrested April 25, the day of the Nelson credit union hold-up. Stevenson was injured when he jumped off a bridge while being pursued by police. Kalmikoff is free on bail but Stevenson remains in custody.

Kalmikoff’s lawyer previously indicated she will seek a jury trial.

A pre-trial conference will be held December 2. Stevenson will also have an arraignment hearing the same day on a new count of escaping custody.

Preliminary inquiries are used to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

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