August 23, 2016 - 1:30 PM
STAB WOUND QUARTER INCH AWAY FROM HEART
KAMLOOPS - A former Walmart loss prevention officer cried in a Kamloops courtroom today as he relived the details of the night he was stabbed five times.
A sentencing hearing was held today, Aug. 23 for Connor Dufresne, 20, who pleaded guilty to theft and aggravated assault in April, five months after he stabbed the officer.
Kamloops Provincial Court heard that on Nov. 9, 2015, Dufresne was seen on surveillance camera acting suspicious while he wandered the aisles in Walmart.
Dufresne was seen picking up a basket and putting items into it before taking a computer bag and trying to put merchandise it, including a Sony sound system and Beats by Dre headphones. At this point, the loss prevention officer decided to leave his office to keep a closer eye on the suspect.
Court heard Dufresne approached the officer, asking for the time. The accused began to wander around more, before bolting out of the emergency exit door.
The officer gave chase which is protocol for Walmart loss prevention officers. Crown prosecutor Adrienne Murphy said the officer ran about five feet out the door, stopped and yelled "store security."
Dufresne kept running, so the officer ran another 10 feet but had to stop due to store policy. After that, the officer doesn't remember what happened, other than the feeling of a knife entering his body.
Court heard Dufresne had a "panic reaction" after the guard placed his hands on the suspect and that Dufresne warned him he had a weapon.
The man was stabbed five times by Dufresne with one wound just a quarter-inch away from his heart.
Murphy told the court the employee went back inside to get treatment from first-aid while another officer waited outside for police.
Court heard a Kamloops RCMP officer spotted Dufresne walking down the road that night looking sweaty and breathing heavily.
The Mountie waved him over, asking who he was. Dufresne gave the officer his twin brother's name, but the constable was able to partially identify him as the stabbing suspect by the shoes he was wearing and dried blood on his hand.
"I'll be honest with you. I did do it," Dufresne told the officer. "I'm an idiot... My name is Connor Dufresne and I have a warrant."
Dufresne had a warrant out for his arrest for breaching a probation condition.
Murphy told the court that Dufresne offered no remorse or concern for the victim at any point while he was with police.
He was arrested and has been in custody ever since.
In the Walmart loss prevention officer's victim impact statement he says he now suffers from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He's had to leave his job as a loss prevention officer and is now in a new role at Walmart making less money.
Dufresne doesn't have a violent past criminal past and has breached bail or probation conditions for previous offences 17 times.
Murphy told the court the pre-sentencing report prepared on Dufresne was troubling.
"Mr. Dufresne doesn't see his drug use as problematic," Murphy read from the report. "(He) blames others for his drug use."
Dufresne also maintained in the report that he was high on meth at the time of the incident which has not been proven.
Defence lawyer Eric Rines says drug use has been the cause of Dufresne's problems with the law, and this case was no exception. Rines says his client hasn't been using his addiction as an excuse for the stabbing.
"That is something he can never take back and he knows that," Rines says.
Rines is asking for either a short 18-month sentence in a provincial facility, or a three-year sentence in a federal facility so Dufresne can become involved with programs to help him get on the right track.
Crown is asking for a three-and-a-half to four year term in prison
The judge's decision on Dufresne's sentencing is expected later this week.
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