Kelowna man who injured police officer escaping arrest to remain in prison | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna man who injured police officer escaping arrest to remain in prison

John Michael Aronson of Kelowna was sentenced today for offences committed while being arrested on warrants for another allegation. He looks much different now, with tattoos covering much of his neck and part of his face.
November 20, 2018 - 6:00 PM

KELOWNA - A routine sentencing in a Kelowna courtroom today could make a big difference if the man is later convicted of more serious charges stemming from a violent armed West Kelowna home invasion.

Prosecutor Patricia O’Neil said the criminal record amassed by 31-year-old John Michael Aronson was seven pages long going back to when he was 14 years old. She told Kelowna Provincial Court judge Meg Shaw today, Nov. 20, that despite his 45 previous convictions for mostly minor offences, he never served more than 73 days in prison.

O’Neil said Aronson was owed a ‘step up’ in sentencing since he doesn’t appear to be getting the message. Aronson was in court — and held in custody — on two separate sets of charges today.

First was the start of a preliminary hearing on a host of charges including using a gun in a home invasion. He and Richard James Meier were arrested after police said two men forced their way into a home in the 3000 block of Ensign Way in West Kelowna around 3 a.m. Sept. 23, 2017. Police said the suspects fired the weapon and assaulted a woman there, causing injury.

Police said at the time they believed the incident was targeted but what they didn’t say was that the violence was committed in the scope of a former intimate relationship. The prosecution is designated a K-file in court, indicating it involved intimate partner violence, though doesn’t indicate which of them was in the relationship. Details of that case remain under a publication ban.

Aronson was sentenced today in a case that’s somewhat related. He was released on those charges but breached his conditions earning a warrant. When police found him again April 10, 2018, he attempted to flee, injuring an officer in the process.

Court heard police spotted Aronson in the area of Parkview Crescent and Springfield Road. While Aronson waited in the passenger seat of a vehicle, police jumped in and tried to grab him. Aronson saw them coming and jumped into the drivers seat. While Const. Landon Weekes reached through the passenger side to subdue him, Aronson put the car in gear. He hit a parked police car, then a tree.

Weekes required stitches to his face from the altercation; Aronson was injured when the airbag deployed.

Aronson pleaded guilty today to dangerous driving causing bodily harm, resisting a police officer and operating a motor vehicle while disqualified. O’Neil argued for nine months in prison. His lawyer, Jordan Watt, argued for five months.

Whoever was more persuasive would have a big impact on any future sentence. Either sentence was destined to be time-served because he was credited with having served almost a year in prison already. Today’s sentence would eat up a portion of that time that could have been credited to the more serious offence for which he remains in custody. Also, a higher sentence today would mean an ever higher sentence if convicted again.

Shaw, however, wasn’t particularly moved by O’Neil’s attempts to ’step up’ his incarceration. She acknowledged that he has ‘lived a life of crime since he was 14 years old’ but sentenced him to six months in prison.

Watt said if and when released, Aronson intends to remain in Kelowna. He has two children here and Watt said he was a journeyman carpenter and worked in the oilfield.

“Things could have gone much worse than they did,” she said. “It is recognized that under all the circumstances, it went as well as it could have, considering Mr. Aronson’s actions."

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