KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man who admitted to stabbing a cab driver last summer could spend up to three years behind bars.
Austin Eyres, 20, appeared in Kamloops Supreme Court today, July 17, where he pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault against Kami Cabs driver Cal Huntington.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 24, 2016, Eyres went to the Husky gas station on Columbia Street and asked an employee to call him a cab. The employee obliged and shortly after, Huntington arrived to pick him up.
Eyres asked Huntington to drive him to the area of 8th Avenue and the two exchanged a casual conversation on the way there. Eventually Huntington pulled up to the area of Pleasant Street and 8th Avenue.
Eyres began stabbing Huntington with a knife and demanded money. He ended up fleeing on foot with about $120.
Police responded to the scene a short time later and Huntington was taken to Royal Inland Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Eyres ditched his knife and bloody clothes, but after surveillance footage of him at the gas station began circulating, at least three people were able to give police his identity and he was arrested within one day.
Crown prosecutor Alex Janse told the court that Huntington suffered physically and emotionally from the assault and it took him months to begin gradually returning to work.
"There were injuries to... the victim's neck area," Janse said. "It's really sheer luck that things didn't turn out worse."
She asked for a three-year jail sentence, while defence lawyer Jay Michi asked for a two-year jail sentence followed by one year of probation.
Michi told the court Eyres was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the offence.
"He was in a rather desperate state of mind," Michi said.
Eyres was 19 years old at the time and admitted to the assault in his statement to police following his arrest. Michi says Eyres has been focusing on getting clean and applying himself in prison.
Kamloops Supreme Court judge Hope Hyslop has reserved her decision on sentencing, and a date for that hearing has not yet been set.
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