Truck and occupants apprehended at Highway 97 junction in Vernon

Westside shooter deemed Dangerous Offender

Michael Ellis will serve indeterminate sentence eligible for parole in seven years after being labelled a Dangerous Offender.

A prolific Okanagan criminal who made headlines four years ago by leading Mounties on a high-speed, gunshot-punctuated car chase through the valley has been labelled a Dangerous Offender in a Kelowna court hearing today.

As a result of the Dangerous Offender declaration, Michael Ellis, 43, will face an indeterminate sentence, eligible for parole after serving seven years in prison.

At a trial that concluded more than a year ago, the court heard that Ellis, in a drug-fuelled haze, was the wheelman of an operation that included multiple car jackings, shots fired at police and civilians alike and an attempt to run a Vernon cop off the road.

For his part, Ellis was found guilty of three counts of robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, four counts of firing a prohibited firearm, dangerous driving and six weapons offences. He dodged an attempted murder conviction for his efforts to run the police officer off the road.

“Extreme recklessness endangering the life of Cpl. (Richard) Gingras does not equate to an intent to kill,” said Supreme Court Justice Ian Josephson, during sentencing.

“His intent was to escape police at all costs, even if those efforts resulted in the death of Cpl. Gingras.”

Despite being found not guilty of the most violent charge, Crown counsel Murray Kaay still applied for a Dangerous Offender hearing, which took place in June.

Dangerous Offender hearings are few and far between at the Kelowna courthouse, likely because the designation is reserved for Canada’s most violent criminal and sexual offenders.

In 2014-15, there were a total of 645 Dangerous Offenders in Canada.  Of that number, 19 were Dangerous Sexual Offenders and four were habitual criminal offenders.

“A Dangerous Offender  is an individual given an indeterminate or a determinate sentence on the basis of a particularly violent crime or pattern of serious violent offences, where it is judged that the offender’s behaviour is unlikely to be inhibited by normal standards of behavioural restraint,” read a comment from a Correction’s Canada employee.

Just Posted

Three UBC Okanagan students awarded women in tech scholarships

Computer science and math students hope the award will inspire others

Missing Kelowna woman, Cassy Miller found dead

Miller went missing Nov. 6 and was found 10 days later

Rockets break four game losing streak in Edmonton

The Rockets defeated the Oil Kings 3-1

Okanagan Floral Design students create elaborate Christmas arrangements

The students are making the floral arrangements as part of the Homes for the Holidays tour

Reduce, reuse, recycle: Repair cafes gaining popularity in Kelowna

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan’s cafe was held at Okanagan College Saturday

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Most Read