UPDATED: Escape attempt at Nelson courthouse leads to another charge for accused armed robber
In a bizarre twist to an already strange story, the man charged with a string of armed robberies in the region tried, this morning, to escape custody and flee before his scheduled court appearance.
Nelson Police Department Deputy Chief Paul Burkhart said Andrew (Zacharias) Stevenson, who was slated to appear in court to face 21 charges in connection with the robberies, attempted to escape on crutches and was found almost immediately.
“A about 9 o’clock this morning we got a call from sheriffs asking for assistance because a male had fled their custody,” Burkhart said, adding the takedown by BC Sheriffs happened just off Vernon Street, blocks from the Courthouse.
“We were in the area and within seconds of the call being received arrived at the location and the sheriffs already had him back in custody.”
Stevenson is currently being lodged in Nelson Police cells.
Burkhart said this latest incident means Stevenson will now be facing a 22nd charge – Escaping Lawful Custody.
A new court date will have to be scheduled.
Andrew Zacharias Stevenson will remain in custody until his bail hearing can be heard May 13 in Nelson Provincial Court.
Stevenson, 34, is facing 17 counts of criminal charges including armed robbery, break and entering and unlawful discharge of a firearm.
His bail hearing was scheduled for Monday (May 5) but Stevenson was not in court.
His lawyer, Ken Wyllie, appeared by phone in front of Nelson Provincial Court Judge R. Hewson to request an adjournment due to the “volumes” of disclosure material and his client’s injuries sustained in an attempt to avoid police arrest.
The judge ordered Stevenson to appear in person at his May 13 hearing.
Stevenson’s co-accused, Krista Kalmikoff, was released on April 30 on conditions and $40,000 bail.
The 25-year-old female is facing 11 counts of criminal charges including robbery and break and enter. She is scheduled to appear in court again June 10.
The current charges are in relation to the Nelson and District Credit Union robbery as well as the robbery of the Kootenay Currency Exchange on April 11, and the break-ins at Simply Shoppers and Pharmasave in Castlegar on April 18, Crown Counsel Philip Seagram said earlier.