Sentenced to five months

The man accused of holding up several local financial institutions has been sentenced to five months in jail for an escape attempt

  • Jan. 8, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Greg Nesteroff

 

Castlegar News

 

The man accused of holding up several local financial institutions has been sentenced to five months in jail for an escape attempt last fall.

Judge Don Sperry sentenced Andrew Stevenson, 34, Tuesday in Nelson Provincial Court. The jail term was a month longer than what Crown counsel and defence jointly sought. Stevenson, who admitted to the crime, still faces trial on another 20 charges related to the robberies.

On September 15, while deputy sheriff Dave Zarikoff was escorting Stevenson into the Nelson courthouse for an appearance, he threw off his crutches — which he was using after suffering a hip injury while being arrested the previous April — and ran several blocks before being tackled.

In handing down his sentence, Sperry told Stevenson: “You’ve been well represented by [defence lawyer Ken] Wyllie and fairly treated by [Crown prosecutor Sunday] Patola. The thing that troubles me most is the question of whether you were exaggerating the extent of your injuries so as not to be shackled and manacled.”

Sperry said the sentence had to denounce Stevenson’s conduct and send a message to other prisoners that “consequences are certain and very real if you try to escape from the sheriffs. You put the sheriff at risk. He had to chase you. You put yourself at risk and the general public.”

Before sentencing, Patola outlined the circumstances of Stevenson’s escape attempt. Around 9 a.m., Zarikoff was holding open a side door at the courthouse so that Stevenson could enter.

Instead, he ran up the stairs to Vernon Street, across the street to Touchstones Nelson, then up Ward Street as Zarikoff pursued him, yelling for him to stop. Stevenson ducked into Herridge Lane and was nearly hit by a small car as he headed down Josephine Street toward Vernon.

Zarikoff then collared him with “minimal force,” pinning him to the ground on his chest. Stevenson obeyed an order to put his hands behind him. A second deputy sheriff arrived as he was handcuffed. “I just wanted to see my kids,” Stevenson reportedly said.

Wyllie said Stevenson “suffers from a debilitating condition” which the escape attempt only made worse. He also said Stevenson acknowledged “this was an impulsive and foolish thing to do.”

“Poorly planned and badly executed,” Sperry added.

Patola, who called the act a “desperate situation,” said Zarikoff had no reason to believe Stevenson was an escape risk.

She couldn’t find any applicable case law, and initially wasn’t sure how much time the offence should merit — the maximum is two years in prison. But Sperry remembered an incident at the Rossland courthouse in 1978, where a man escaped out the bathroom window and was at large for a year before he was caught. He was then sentenced to nine months.

In meting out a sentence greater than what the Crown requested, Sperry said “If I’m wrong, I wouldn’t mind the Court of Appeal’s guidance.”

Stevenson appeared in court today via video link from jail in Kamloops, still using his crutches. He was also ordered to pay a $100 victim surcharge within 60 days.

 

Stevenson is charged in the robberies of the Nelson and District Credit Union, Kootenay Savings in Castlegar, Johnny’s Groceries in Robson, and Kootenay Currency Exchange in Nelson, in which a shot was fired. He and co-accused Krista Kalmikoff have preliminary inquiries scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Castlegar house fire

The fire has since spread to an adjacent property

Zoning hearing scheduled for major Castlegar housing development

Phase two of Twin Rivers Estates needs a zoning change before moving forward

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read