Accused Kootenay bank robber expected to plead guilty

Accused Kootenay bank robber expected to plead guilty

The man accused of robbing several local financial institutions and a gas station last year at gunpoint will admit to eight charges.

The man accused of robbing several local financial institutions and a gas station last year at gunpoint is expected to plead guilty to eight charges.

Andrew Zacharias Stevenson is scheduled to admit to the crimes during his next court appearance in Nelson on April 28. He originally faced more than 20 counts, but Crown prosecutor Sunday Patola said Stevenson will plead guilty to the major offences. They include two counts of robbery, two counts of using a restricted or prohibited gun in a robbery, two counts of using an imitation firearm, plus break and enter and unlawfully discharging a firearm.

The charges relate to hold-ups at Johnny’s Groceries and Gas in Robson on March 7, 2014, Kootenay Savings in Castlegar on March 11, 2014, Kootenay Currency Exchange on April 11 in which a shot was fired, and Nelson and District Credit Union on April 25. Stevenson was arrested after the latter robbery following a police chase.

Recently the Nelson Police Department was cleared of any wrongdoing in the hip injury Stevenson suffered after jumping from a bridge to escape.

Stevenson’s intention to plead guilty follows a preliminary inquiry that began in late January. He has been in custody since his arrest, and is presently serving a five-month jail sentence for an attempted escape prior to a court appearance in Nelson last September.

Stevenson’s co-accused, Krista Ann Kalmikoff, was ordered to stand trial at the conclusion of her preliminary inquiry Tuesday, but a date has not been set. She also faces eight charges, including two counts of committing robbery with a restricted or prohibited firearm, two counts of possession of stolen property, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and fleeing from police.

Kalmikoff remains free on bail.