The man charged in the armed robberies of several local financial institutions has pled guilty to trying to escape from custody.
Andrew Stevenson, 34, faces a maximum of two years in prison when he is sentenced on January 6.
On September 15, Stevenson was due to elect trial on 21 charges, less than a week after being denied bail.
According to the Ministry of Justice, a deputy sheriff was escorting Stevenson into the courthouse through a sheriff-access only door when he threw off his crutches and fled.
Stevenson was using the crutches as the result of injuries he suffered during his arrest on April 25. Consequently, he wasn’t wearing leg irons. The deputy sheriff caught Stevenson after a two-block chase.
He was still using crutches during his last several court appearances via video link from Kamloops.
Stevenson is accused of robbing Kootenay Currency Exchange in Nelson, in which a shot was fired, Nelson and District Credit Union, Kootenay Savings in Castlegar, and Johnny’s Grocery in Robson, plus two break-ins at Castlegar pharmacies in March and April.
Among other counts, he is accused of possession of a restricted weapon, pointing and firing a firearm, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and fleeing police.
He and his co-accused, Krista Kalmikoff, 28, who has been released on bail, will have preliminary inquiries January 28 and 29 to determine if there is enough evidence to send their cases to trial.
Kalmikoff’s lawyer has indicated she wants to be tried by jury.