Anthony Cortez and Danielle (Deedee) Charlton are seen in these undated Facebook images. Cortez faces numerous charges after allegedly crashing a stolen vehicle near Hope on Sept. 11, 2017, a crash that killed Charlton.

Man who robbed Nelson store charged with death of passenger

Anthony Cortez sentenced in crime spree in Chilliwack court last August faces more serious charge

A man who allegedly killed his passenger in a crash in Hope in 2017 after a crime spree that went from the Kootenays to the Lower Mainland will now go to trial for that death.

More than eight months ago, Anthony Creed Cortez was sentenced to time served for a series of crimes in 2017 including robbing a jewelry store in Nelson and stealing an SUV, a pickup truck, and a motorcycle.

On Sept. 11, 2017, Cortez smashed a window at Ted Allen’s Jewellery in Nelson and stole $30,000 worth of product. He then stole a Chevrolet Equinox that he crashed into a highway maintenance vehicle near Hope. His companion in the vehicle, Danielle (Deedee) Charlton, died in the crash.

After a Good Samaritan stopped to help, Cortez stole his pickup truck and fled the scene.

Nine days later he was caught near Revelstoke after stealing a motorcycle and fleeing police. He tried to break into a cabin but was arrested after a fight with a police officer.

In Chilliwack provincial court on Aug. 27, 2018, Cortez was sentenced to time served by Judge Wendy Young. Nelson Crown counsel and Cortez’s lawyer agreed to a joint sentence of nine months in jail for the jewelry store heist. Swartz asked for seven months for the Revestoke crimes, essentially time served, while Crown sought 12 months to run consecutive.

Young agreed with defence submissions.

After handing down sentence, Cortez addressed the judge with an apology to the court and to the police officers involved with his arrest.

“I put them at risk and heartache and I’ve had some time to think and reflect and I’m sincerely sorry to all of them for my actions,” he said, making no mention of Charlton or her family. “I stand before you today, you have my word that you won’t see me standing here before you again. I’ve learned my lesson and I want to move on with my life and be a good father for my eight-year-old kid.”

Cortez was also convicted of three breaches of court orders forbidding him from contacting Charlton and sentenced to 21 days jail. He was also charged with an assault on Charlton from April 16, but Crown counsel Michelle Wray ordered a stay of proceedings since the case could not be proven after the woman’s death.

Nothing more was said about Charlton’s death at the Aug. 27 hearing, but between then and now, Crown proceeded to lay charges. He now faces six more counts: dangerous driving causing death; failure to stop at an accident causing bodily harm; theft of motor vehicle; occupying a vehicle knowing a firearm is present; and two counts of possession of a firearm without licence.

The case is scheduled for a one-day focus hearing on Sept. 23 followed by a five-day preliminary inquiry running Dec. 12, 13, 16, 17, 18.

Unless he pleads guilty before or after those dates, a trial will follow.

• READ MORE: Suspect in fatal crash, jewelry heist charged with assault

• READ MORE: Suspect in fatal crash charged in jewelry heist

— With files from Martha Wickett

Just Posted

Nelson U-Haul shutting down

Kootenay Glass and Mirror will no longer provide the service as of July 12

COLUMN: Advocating for the Salmon Spirit

Eileen Delehanty Pearkes writes about what’s being done to return salmon to the upper Columbia basin

Search for missing Salmo motorcyclist called off for the time being

RCMP say no evidence of Cory McKay’s whereabouts was found Thursday

Silverton commits to 100% renewable energy by 2050

The villages joins pledges made by Nelson, New Denver, Rossland and the RDCK

VIDEO: Using scrap materials, man build workout equipment at B.C. tent city

Made of reused wood, ropes and metal, the machine could be Shane Knight’s ticket to competitions

Canadian officials flagged 900 food items from China with ‘problems’ over 2 years

The scrutiny of agricultural goods has been central to a diplomatic dispute between Canada and China

Gasoline companies to speak at public inquiry into B.C. pump prices

Premier John Horgan ordered the inquiry in May when prices at the pump reached $1.70 a litre

When the hospital becomes home: B.C. girl, 7, has spent a third of her life in pediatric unit

Mother grateful for the care her daughter received at VGH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

B.C. woman jailed for child pornography after sharing photos of grandchildren online

Grandma sentenced to 14 months behind bars for concerning and explicit online chats with stranger

Loved ones of Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh mourn after terrorist attack

She moved back to Somalia last year in an effort to tell positive stories of her home country

Marathon votes, high stress work is going to kill someone, say some MPs

Some resort to wearing diapers to help get them through all-night votes

Concerns mount over ‘criminalization’ of detained migrants in Canada

The agency decided all officers working in these centres must be outfitted in protective and defensive equipment

Trudeau stresses balancing economy, environment during brief Stampede visit

The prime minister took aim at his conservative opponents in his remarks

Most Read