The getaway driver of the vehicle that broke the leg of a grocery store employee in Summerland in 2021 will not be spending time behind bars for it.
Brandon Kyle Adam Kurtz, born in 1984, appeared in Penticton provincial court on Aug. 5 for sentencing, however, after lengthy final submissions from Crown and defence, the judge requested additional time to adequately lay out her reasons for giving him a conditional sentence.
Kurtz had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of assault with a weapon for the incident on Aug. 24, 2021.
On that date in 2021, Kurtz and another man went into the Nesters grocery store in Summerland and attempted to buy some cigarettes. One of the pair had no ID, and the other’s card was declined, but he took the cigarettes anyway and the pair fled to their car.
The Nesters clerk attempted to keep them from driving off by standing in front of the vehicle until police could arrive, however, Kurtz, who was the one identified as being behind the wheel, drove into the clerk and then carried on, smashing into another parked vehicle before getting onto the road.
The store clerk had to be taken to the hospital and a metal rod was put in his leg, costing him six months of work and ongoing limitations as a result of his injury.
Surveillance footage from multiple stores in the area provided multiple views of Kurtz and the vehicle involved. While officers gathered the footage, the liquor store next to Nester’s also informed them that Kurtz had made off with a bottle of vodka and a can of beer before the pair got into the car and fled the scene.
Officers were able to recognize both Kurtz and the other occupant of the vehicle and arrested them both.
Kurtz was the only person charged following the arrests. The other individual who was involved died from a drug overdose, Crown informed the court on Friday.
Drug and alcohol addiction were also factors that Crown and defence noted as being in play with Kurtz, with Crown stating that he had made continued use of alcohol, methamphetamines and cocaine.
“I should add that he also indicates that he takes responsibility for the offence despite not recalling all of the events of this particular day due to his use of substances,” Crown said.
The defence noted that following hospitalization for a hand injury, Kurtz was introduced to medication that could help curb his addictions and that he currently has a prescription for that medication.
Crown was seeking between nine to 12 months in jail followed by probation, while Kurtz’s defence sought to have him serve out his sentence in the community.
Following the submissions by the Crown and Defence, the court day was almost over and so the judge requested they return to hear the details of her decision.
No date has been scheduled yet for when Kurtz will hear the reasons and conditions for his sentence order.
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