Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP arrest a suspect in connection with a stolen vehicle incident in Okanagan Landing Tuesday evening. Submitted photo

10 more months for Okanagan shoplifting, drunk driving rampage

Sheena’s crimes ran from Jan. 2017 to July 2017, from Osoyoos up to Vernon

A man who crashed two stolen vehicles while intoxicated in Vernon last summer, including a transportation truck that tipped over and blocked traffic, will spend the next 10 months in jail.

Justen Morgan Sheena was sentenced to just under two years in jail for six counts of shoplifting from Osoyoos to Kelowna and for the intoxicated driving rampage on Tronson Road near Vernon.

Between January and April 2017, Sheena had shoplifted at two liquor stores in Oliver and one in Osoyoos, and then at grocery stores in Kelowna and West Kelowna, with each theft ranging from $60 to $200 in value.

Related: Man facing jail time for crimes throughout Okanagan

For those charges, Sheena was handed a 150-day sentence, right in the middle of the Crown and defence submissions of 180 days and 120 days, respectively.

Then on July 11, Sheena was driving a stolen Nissan Sentra, when he crashed the vehicle into a ditch. A bystander reported that he had left the scene, up a hill, and was believed to have stolen a Jeep. In fact, he had stolen a transportation truck that had been left running while the driver spoke with a homeowner.

As he drove down the hill, a police officer attempted to lay a spike belt, but was unsuccessful. He did, however, get a chance to see the driver, and found he matched the description of the Nissan driver.

Related: Stolen semi crashed in Vernon

He lost sight of the truck as it drove off, swaying as it turned, while he called for backup. Another officer, driving toward the Nissan crash, found a woman walking down the street which he believed to match a description of the passenger in the Nissan. Soon after, he found the transportation truck flipped on its side on Tronson Road, blocking both lanes of traffic.

After getting onto the passenger side of the vehicle, which was by then the top side of the flipped truck, police said Sheena said he hadn’t been driving, asking why he was being arrested, and resisted efforts to arrest him. He only allowed handcuffs to be placed on him after he was faced with a taser, which was not used.

For that incident, Sheena pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000, driving while disqualified, intoxicated driving, resisting a police officer and failing to remain at the scene of a crash.

In total, Sheena was facing around nine-and-a-half months in jail, including the shoplifting and the Vernon driving incidents, taking into account the 419 days he had in enhanced credit for time served. The total worked out to just under two years, which was below the requests of even the defence in a sentencing hearing last week, according to Judge Jeremy Guild.

However, Sheena got another couple of weeks added to his sentence, because he was unable to pay the victim fine surcharge. Guild noted that fee is legally mandatory, however, some judges have opted not to enforce it. Similarly, the Pivot Legal Society out of Vancouver recently announced it would challenge the mandatory nature of the fine.

Related: Confusion surrounds controversial victim surcharge fees

In his sentencing, Guild noted a Gladue report that was prepared — a report that details Indigenous individuals and their families’ experiences with residential schools, alcoholism, foster care and other ill effects of colonization. The report is intended to give context for what conditions the crimes arose from.

Guild noted Sheena’s early experiences with alcoholism in his family and the impacts residential schools had on Sheena’s grandparents, and the residual effects passed on to later generations.

For that reason, as well as Sheena’s efforts to get clean by way of methadone in the jail and seeking residential treatment afterward, Guild said he felt there was cause to sentence Sheena below what even defence counsel had asked.

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Armstrong incident shocks employee

Worker transported to hospital following possible electrical shock at store

New acts join Roots and Blues Festival lineup

An eclectic mix of musicians added to Salmon Arm’s slate

Sicamous takes a look at wood-waste energy

Report favours heating system that could service rec centre, Parkview Elementary and others

Drive in support of the John Howard Society

Second annual Drive to Thrive slated for June 1 at the Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club

Askew’s owner objects to underpass

Downtown Salmon Arm voices its support for project, which will go to referendum in October

Salmon Arm makeup artist adds new sparkle to industry

Missy MacKintosh launches her own cosmetics company with the release of biodegradable glitter

Penticton Speedway cleaning up landslide

Owner Johnny Aantjes expects the slide to be cleaned up in time for the next race on Sunday

Laura Smith next to grace Nexus stage

Concert series welcomes award-winnig Canadian singer songwriter at the Nexus

Fighting racism is society’s job

BC Hockey’s plan to provide an education package makes a good first step

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Proclaimers walk through the Okanagan

The Proclaimers play Vernon Sept. 11. Tickets on sale now through the Ticket Seller

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

New acts join Roots and Blues Festival lineup

An eclectic mix of musicians added to Salmon Arm’s slate

Salmon Arm Secondary rugby squads kick off the season’s games

Keeping their momentum despite tough competition in the Okanagan

Most Read