Vernon News

Polson Park shooter handed nine years in jail

FILE PHOTO: The gunfight followed a robbery gone wrong at the Green Valley Motel, where Jacob Lowes sold drugs out of a ground floor unit in 2014.

VERNON - A Vernon man will spend the next several years in jail for his part in a brazen daytime shooting in Polson Park.

Jacob D. Lowes, 31, was selling drugs out of his ground floor apartment unit at the Green Valley Motel when three men attempted to rob him in August of 2014, Supreme Court Justice Peter Rogers said today, June 16, in his reasons for sentencing.

The robbery went awry, and Lowes chased the intruders across Highway 97 into Polson Park, where a gunfight occurred.

In a separate court case, another man accused of participating in the shootout was cleared of all charges.

Judge Rogers said the incident showed a callous disregard for the safety of those he was shooting at, as well as civilians in the park.

“Any one of them could have been injured or killed by a stray round,” Roger says.

No one was injured in the shooting.

Crown counsel Jeremy Guild argued for a stiff jail sentence of eight to 11 years to send a strong message against gun violence. Guild noted Lowes’ long criminal record, which includes a 2015 assault against another inmate, and argued he has not shown respect for the law or demonstrated strong chances of rehabilitation.

Rogers made reference to defence counsel Glenn Verdurmen’s argument that while the accused’s actions were dangerous, they were to some degree understandable given he had just experienced a home invasion. Verdurmen emphasized that no one was hurt in the gunfight, and said his client is still relatively young and has hopes for rehabilitation.

Rogers disagreed with the Crown that Lowes is a “lost cause.”

“I cannot say he is doomed,” Rogers said.

In the past, Lowes — who had a rough upbringing and began using hard drugs at age 13 — has received jail terms in provincial institutions, which don’t have the same programs as federal penitentiaries.

Rogers handed Lowes an overall sentence of nine years in jail for four firearms offences, one count of attempting to unlawfully cause bodily harm, and two firearms-related breaches. Lowes will serve his time in a federal jail — with access to programs — and will receive one-and-a-half days of credit for each day he has spent in custody. He’s been in custody for 312 days and never sought bail.

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