UPDATED: Alleged Kootenay bank robber tries to escape

A man accused in a series of armed robberies is back in custody after briefly escaping this morning at the Nelson courthouse.

A man accused in a series of armed robberies is back in custody after briefly escaping this morning at the Nelson courthouse.

Andrew Stevenson, 34, was due to elect trial on 21 charges.

According to the Ministry of Justice, around 9 a.m. 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 ostensibly as the result of injuries he suffered during his arrest on April 25. Consequently, he wasn’t wearing leg irons.

The deputy sheriff chased Stevenson and caught him within two blocks of the courthouse. He was then transferred to the Nelson Police Department and taken back to the city lock-up. He’s expected to face a new charge of escaping custody.

The Ministry of Justice said typically when deputy sheriffs escort prisoners in custody from the Nelson police jail to the courthouse, they are handcuffed and placed in leg irons subject to medical conditions or other factors.

“BC Sheriff Services will be reviewing this incident and the current practices and policies surrounding the transportation of prisoners in Nelson,” the ministry said.

Stevenson was denied bail last week. His case was put over to October 7, when he will appear in court by video.

Stevenson is accused of hold-ups at the Kootenay Currency Exchange 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 a firearm, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and fleeing police.

His co-accused, Krista Kalmikoff, has been released on bail. Her lawyer has indicated she intends to plead not guilty and elect trial by judge and jury. She also returns to court October 7.

Stevenson and Kalmikoff were both arrested the day of the Nelson credit union robbery. They have not been charged in robberies at the Kootenay Savings in Salmo and Shoppers Simply Pharmacy in Castlegar.

Just Posted

Nelson firefighter wage negotiations in year six

Firefighting is an essential service, so strikes are illegal

EcoSociety asks city to become 100 per cent renewable

The plan would have Nelson ditch fossil fuels by 2050

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

LVR Bombers volleyball team off to provincials

The senior girls’ squad secured a spot with a win over Trail last week

Winter kicks off in Nelson

Over 30 events are set to celebrate the snowy season

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

Most Read