“HE TOOK CREDIT FOR CHASING THE ROBBERS”
VERNON - After two men tried to rip off a street level drug dealing business operating out of the Green Valley Motel, Jacob Lowes chased them across Highway 97 during morning rush hour and fired at least three shots into Polson Park, Supreme Court Justice Peter Rogers ruled this morning.
Lowes was arrested in connection with the high profile shootout from August 2014, and was convicted today on several counts. The incident created a large commotion on Highway 97 as police swarmed the area. At trial, witnesses described men running in front of cars and leaning against trees during the shooting.
Justice Rogers said Lowes was guilty of attempting to unlawfully cause bodily harm, as well as four gun-related charges including intent to wound or maim and recklessly discharging a firearm.
Lowes was also charged with attempted murder, but Rogers found him not guilty on that count.
On the morning of Aug. 12, 2014, two people, Adrian Dziedzic and Robin Rochement, went to unit 109 with the intention of robbing the occupants of money or drugs or both, Rogers said.
While it has since closed down, at the time, the Green Valley Motel was well known as a place where drugs were sold.
Shortly after Dziedzic and Rochement entered the unit, a shotgun went off and they fled into Polson Park. Lowes chased them across 32 Street (Highway 97) and a shootout occurred.
Rogers accepted evidence from a tenant of the Green Valley Motel who said he spoke with Lowes after the incident. Lowes told the man Rochement and Dziedzic tried to rob him and when he defended himself they ‘ran like bitches.’
The defence tried to argue that it might have been someone else who chased the robbers into Polson Park, but that didn’t add up with the conversation Lowes had with the tenant. Lowes could have told the man someone else chased the robbers, but didn’t, Rogers said.
“Instead, he took credit for chasing the robbers,” Rogers said.
Rogers added that video surveillance, combined with eye witness accounts, placed Lowes running across the highway after the shooting.
While in jail, a cell mate overheard Lowes telling another inmate that people tried to rob him, prompting him to chase them and later throw his gun into a nearby creek. That gun was later found by police, and matched the bullet casings found in the park.
When police searched unit 109, they found firearms, knives and a homemade spear, along with notebooks pertaining to drug dealing and a drawer full of syringes.
Lowes sat with his head down for much of the hearing, dressed in a red, prison-issued sweatshirt and sweatpants.
A sentence hearing for Lowes will be held later this year.
Rochement and Dziedzic are currently before the courts on firearms related charges.
— This story was updated at 3:56 p.m. April 12, 2017 to clarify that Lowes was convicted of attempting to unlawfully cause bodily harm, not attempted assault causing bodily harm.
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