Man sentenced for Kamloops business break-ins, altercation with sheriffs - InfoNews

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Man sentenced for Kamloops business break-ins, altercation with sheriffs

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March 03, 2018 - 1:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A man who has spent most of his life in custody will spend another three years behind bars for a break-in spree followed by an altercation with deputy sheriffs in Kamloops.

Michael Kenneth Stone, 53, pleaded guilty last year to a number of charges spanning from the Lower Mainland to Kamloops.

After a break and enter in Vancouver in 2015, Stone was released on a promise to appear. While he was awaiting trial on that matter, Stone made his way to Kamloops, where he took place in a three-day crime spree in the city, according to a decision read in Kamloops today, March 2, by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves.

Several commercial businesses were broken into in the city between March 12 and March 14, 2017, including Peavy Mart and the National Concrete Store, Groves said. 

On March 14, an alert RCMP officer outside of the Skyline Motel in Valleyview spotted a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and after running the plates determined it to be stolen. The vehicle was connected to Stone and an acquaintance, and police entered a motel room where they found the pair.

In the room was stolen property, some of which was connected to the commercial break-ins in Kamloops. Groves says surveillance footage from the businesses shows Stone as part of the break-in.

"I agree with the defense that this spree was a drug-infused folly," Groves said.

He added that Crown had called the spree "sophisticated" due to the fact that in one break-in a video system was disabled.

After police located Stone, he was arrested and brought in to Kamloops city cells, where he spent the night. He was transported to the Kamloops Law Courts the morning of March 15 for a first appearance on the file.

While Stone was in the cells of the law courts, a sheriff saw a substance that resembled drugs, Groves said, adding that he doesn't know how someone could have stayed in police cells overnight and managed to have drugs on them in court the next morning.

Deputy sheriffs attempted to seize the drugs from Stone and a "scuffle" ensued.

"Mr. Stone, it appears, attempted to inhale the drugs during this scuffle," Groves said.

The baggie of drugs, which Stone claimed contained fentanyl, broke and four deputy sheriffs were exposed to it. Investigation showed the drug was not fentanyl.

Stone, who is HIV positive, began bleeding during the altercation and a sheriff came in contact with the blood. previously reported on this encounter.

"Because of the possibility of exposure to fentanyl in the building... the courthouse had to be evacuated," Groves said.

The hazmat team was called in and the four sheriffs were taken to hospital in hazmat suits.

The sheriff who came in contact with Stone's blood had to undergo several months of treatment to prevent contracting the virus, and to this day is being kept an eye on, Groves said.

Considering Stone's prolific offending behaviour in the past, including 59 property offences, the Crown sought a sentence of seven to eight years behind bars and Groves pointed out that the Crown saw little hope of rehabilitation when looking at his previous record and current offences.

"There is still some hope for rehabilitation for this accused," Groves said. "I'm not prepared to give up on him."

Groves pointed out that during a previous time Stone was sentenced, he succeeded on a strict probation term. He said the best chance for Stone to be rehabilitated is by a provincial sentence followed by a lengthy term of probation.

Stone was sentenced on charges including breaking and entering, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen government pension checks over $5,000, resisting or obstructing a peace officer, mischief and unlawful possession of methamphetamine.

For all of his offences, Stone was given a sentence just shy of three-and-a-half years, and with credit for time served he will spend less than two years of new time in jail.

After his release, he will be placed on three years of probation, where he is not to leave the province, not to associate with anyone suggested by his probation officer, not consume or possess drugs or alcohol, not possess anything that could hide or disguise his face and not possess any tools that could be used to commit a crime.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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