South Okanagan man who 'terrorized' neighbours sentenced to time served - InfoNews

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South Okanagan man who 'terrorized' neighbours sentenced to time served

Eric Koenig is expected to be released from jail today following a four month sentence for uttering threats, driving while prohibited and mischief in Penticton court, JUne 14, 2019.
June 14, 2019 - 4:15 PM

PENTICTON - A man with an extensive record that includes assaults, breaches and uttering threats was sentenced in Penticton court today, but not before proceedings were disrupted by an outburst from the accused.

Eric Koenig appeared via video from the Okanagan Correctional Centre to face sentencing on counts of uttering threats, mischief, and flight from police as a result of two incidents, one of which Judge Michelle Daneliuk described as ‘terrorism’ against Koenig’s neighbours.

Crown prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court on Oct. 8, 2018 Koenig’s neighbour on White Lake Road called the Penticton RCMP to report Koenig had trespassed onto his property to within 10 feet of the front door, uttering threats.

The neighbour said he feared for his safety after Koenig armed himself with rocks.

Police investigated and arrested Koenig after finding him on his adjacent property.

While being transported, Koenig kicked and damaged the interior of the cruiser all the way to the Penticton detachment.

The neighbour told police he had known Koenig since the 1980s and was aware he had mental health issues. He told police Koenig threatened to kill him and rape his wife and daughter.

As Froehlich recounted the incident, Koenig called Froehlich’s account “lies” and refused to be silent.

Following a few hours’ adjournment, Koenig reappeared on video, this time apologetic for his outburst and now seemingly under control.

Froehlich continued, recounting events on March 17, 2019, when police spotted Koenig driving on White Lake Road, south of Penticton. He refused to stop and managed to temporarily elude police until he was spotted a short time later.

Police deployed a spike belt which Koenig drove over as he approached Highway 97, puncturing both front tires.

He continued to drive at highway speed until forced to stop near Lakehill Road at Kaleden, where he struggled with police prior to being arrested for being a prohibited driver.

Koenig, who was born in 1962,  appeared in court the following day and was subsequently detained in custody.

Froehlich presented a joint submission sentence totalling 160 days to Judge Daneliuk after presenting victim impact statements from Koenig’s neighbours and a summary of Koenig’s pre-sentence and psychiatric report.

Koenig suffered from a long standing addiction to crystal meth in addition to a mental disorder diagnosed as an amphetamine-induced case of psychosis.

The joint submission also suggested a two year probationary period, an order for treatment with antipsychotic medication and a two year driving prohibition.

Defence lawyer Norm Yates said his client, who suffered a head injury 20 years ago, wanted to go to treatment. He said his client had his remotely located White Lake property up for sale.

Koenig told court he was “truly sorry” for the trouble he had caused, noting his former neighbour had moved away as a result of Koenig’s harassment. He promised he would attend treatment right away.

Judge Daneliuk agreed with the joint submission, noting Koenig’s serious lengthy history of mental health and addiction problems.

She said the victim's impact statements indicated Koenig’s behaviour amounted to 'terrorism' against the couple who were forced to move, but said circumstances were mitigated by Koenig’s decreased mental culpability due to his drug and mental health issues.

With credit for time served, Koenig is expected to be released today.

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