Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP arrest a suspect in connection with a stolen vehicle incident in Okanagan Landing Tuesday evening. Submitted photo

10 more months for Okanagan shoplifting, drunk driving rampage

Sheena’s crimes ran from Jan. 2017 to July 2017, from Osoyoos up to Vernon

A man who crashed two stolen vehicles while intoxicated in Vernon last summer, including a transportation truck that tipped over and blocked traffic, will spend the next 10 months in jail.

Justen Morgan Sheena was sentenced to just under two years in jail for six counts of shoplifting from Osoyoos to Kelowna and for the intoxicated driving rampage on Tronson Road near Vernon.

Between January and April 2017, Sheena had shoplifted at two liquor stores in Oliver and one in Osoyoos, and then at grocery stores in Kelowna and West Kelowna, with each theft ranging from $60 to $200 in value.

Related: Man facing jail time for crimes throughout Okanagan

For those charges, Sheena was handed a 150-day sentence, right in the middle of the Crown and defence submissions of 180 days and 120 days, respectively.

Then on July 11, Sheena was driving a stolen Nissan Sentra, when he crashed the vehicle into a ditch. A bystander reported that he had left the scene, up a hill, and was believed to have stolen a Jeep. In fact, he had stolen a transportation truck that had been left running while the driver spoke with a homeowner.

As he drove down the hill, a police officer attempted to lay a spike belt, but was unsuccessful. He did, however, get a chance to see the driver, and found he matched the description of the Nissan driver.

Related: Stolen semi crashed in Vernon

He lost sight of the truck as it drove off, swaying as it turned, while he called for backup. Another officer, driving toward the Nissan crash, found a woman walking down the street which he believed to match a description of the passenger in the Nissan. Soon after, he found the transportation truck flipped on its side on Tronson Road, blocking both lanes of traffic.

After getting onto the passenger side of the vehicle, which was by then the top side of the flipped truck, police said Sheena said he hadn’t been driving, asking why he was being arrested, and resisted efforts to arrest him. He only allowed handcuffs to be placed on him after he was faced with a taser, which was not used.

For that incident, Sheena pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000, driving while disqualified, intoxicated driving, resisting a police officer and failing to remain at the scene of a crash.

In total, Sheena was facing around nine-and-a-half months in jail, including the shoplifting and the Vernon driving incidents, taking into account the 419 days he had in enhanced credit for time served. The total worked out to just under two years, which was below the requests of even the defence in a sentencing hearing last week, according to Judge Jeremy Guild.

However, Sheena got another couple of weeks added to his sentence, because he was unable to pay the victim fine surcharge. Guild noted that fee is legally mandatory, however, some judges have opted not to enforce it. Similarly, the Pivot Legal Society out of Vancouver recently announced it would challenge the mandatory nature of the fine.

Related: Confusion surrounds controversial victim surcharge fees

In his sentencing, Guild noted a Gladue report that was prepared — a report that details Indigenous individuals and their families’ experiences with residential schools, alcoholism, foster care and other ill effects of colonization. The report is intended to give context for what conditions the crimes arose from.

Guild noted Sheena’s early experiences with alcoholism in his family and the impacts residential schools had on Sheena’s grandparents, and the residual effects passed on to later generations.

For that reason, as well as Sheena’s efforts to get clean by way of methadone in the jail and seeking residential treatment afterward, Guild said he felt there was cause to sentence Sheena below what even defence counsel had asked.

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Motorcyclist taken to hospital following crash near Vernon

Extent of injuries not yet known following motorcycle in ditch on Commonage Road Sunday, July 22

Mount Conkle fire grew but 90 per cent guarded

The wildfire has grown to an estimated 118 hectares from 93 hectares last night

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Mediation talks break off in casino strike

Gateway and BCGEU have no new date set for mediation

ZONE 2: Okanagan twins bring ultimate competition to the BC Games

Brothers Connor and Holden Berrisford are each other’s main motivators

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read