Kamloops woman who escaped from custody at hospital trying to turn her life around

FILE PHOTO

KAMLOOPS - A woman who collapsed in her prison cell and fled from custody after waking up in hospital says she will use the rest of her time in jail to get her life in order.

Tasha Viehoefer, 25, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for her escape, but since she was on a conditional sentence order at the time, she'll need to spend another 55 days in prison first, the time for violating the order.

Kamloops Provincial Court heard today, June 1, Viehoefer was taken into custody on May 8 for failing to report to her conditional sentence supervisor. She was brought to Kamloops city cells, but apparently snuck in a syringe filled with suspected fentanyl.

The syrigne was found in Viehoefer's cell after she collapsed. She was brought to Royal Inland Hospital and remained in police custody.

She was on a stretcher and was last seen by a nurse and sheriff around 12:30 p.m. Viehoefer ended up fleeing on foot and into oncoming traffic on Columbia Street.

Viehoefer was taken into police custody near the 200 block of Nicola Street. Court heard Viehoefer admitted to bringing fentanyl into her cell and hiding it in her body.

Crown had suggested a sentence of 45 to 60 days for the escape, but defence lawyer Don Campbell, who acted as a friend of the court for Viehoefer, submitted a 21-day sentence would be more appropriate.

Kamloops Provincial Court judge Roy Dickey decided on a sentence of one-month, after she's finished serving the remaining 55 days on her conditional sentence order.

Viehoefer took the opportunity to address the court, where she discussed getting onto the suboxone program to combat her opioid addiction, getting her taxes done and getting her teeth fixed.

She also said once she woke up at the hospital and didn't know what happened or where she was, she ran.

"I do take responsibility for my actions," she said. "I know there's no excuses... I have gone through a lot with being out there, like with drugs."

Viehoefer said she hopes to get her life back on track and become a social worker.

"When you get out, hopefully things go well for you," Dickey told her.


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