Man sentenced in Kamloops to over 5 years for 'drug-fuelled crime spree' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Man sentenced in Kamloops to over 5 years for 'drug-fuelled crime spree'

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KAMLOOPS — A man who pleaded guilty to numerous criminal charges including kidnapping, using an imitation firearm and robbery — in connection to what the judge described as a "drug-fuelled crime spree" more than a year ago — has been sentenced to five years and six months behind bars in Kamloops Supreme Court today.

David Lee Chappell, 35, was charged with a total of 16 counts from a series of incidents that took place over the course of six months and with 10 of those charges stemming from an incident that took place just over a few hours on Nov. 6, 2017 along Highway 5 from Avola to Kamloops.

Chappell was arrested in Nov. 2017, after he held a transport truck driver at gunpoint for nearly four hours while trying to evade police along Highway 5.

The day Chappell committed those offences he was out of crystal meth and was trying to find a way to raise money to buy more drugs, Justice Sharon Matthews said in her decision today, March 15.

Matthews also adds he was also trying to head back to Alberta so he could see his daughter who had just recently been born. The truck driver, Robert Price, told Chappell he was heading in the opposite direction, however, Chappell still forced Price to drive him and said he could be dropped off in Abbotsford.

"This shows how far out of control Mr. Chappell was," Matthews said.

Chappell's lawyer, Alexander Watt, described his client's actions on Nov. 6, 2017, as "classic addictive behaviour".

Prior to these offences, Chappell grew up in Nova Scotia where he attended college. At one point he ended up as a supervisor for a large oil and gas company in Alberta where he was earning more than $160,000 a year. He also had a wife and two daughters.

Chappell's lawyer says his client's marriage ended when his wife expressed he was working too much. Watt says the breakup of Chappell's family is what started his client's drug use, starting with ecstasy and eventually he began smoking half a gram of crystal meth daily.

Crown prosecutor Bonnie Macdonald had submitted a sentence of seven years and eight months for the offences that Chappell had committed. Chappell's lawyer had requested a two-year sentence followed by a three-year probation period.

Matthews also sentenced Chappell for numerous Alberta offences that took place in the Spring of 2017 where he smashed his ex-girlfriend's car windshield after she broke up with him and stole a nearly $400 electric toothbrush from a Walmart.

Chappell has been actively engaged with cognitive behavioural therapy while in pre-trial custody, court heard. Matthews also shared letters of support for Chappell from his prison chaplain and support worker.

"Mr. Chappell is motivated," said one of the letters. 

Chappell has been in custody since Nov. 6, 2017. After taking into account time served in pre-trial custody, Chappell has three years and 170 days left to serve. Matthews also handed Chappell a 10-year weapon prohibition and a motor vehicle prohibition of three years.

He will also have to pay for his ex-girlfriend's windshield and pay the insurance company for the damages caused to Price's truck on Nov. 6, 2017.

Chappell expressed his remorse in court today by saying how sorry he was for what he did.

"This was a stupid mistake and out of character," he says. "I want to say sorry to my victims."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 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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