Anthony Cortez and Danielle “Deedee” Charlton are seen in these undated Facebook images.

Suspect in crime spree from Nelson to Revelstoke to Hope gets time served

Anthony Creed Cortez robbed jewelry store, stole motorcycle, allegedly crashed SUV

A man who robbed a jewelry store in Nelson, stole a motorcycle in Revelstoke, and allegedly crashed an SUV near Hope, killing his passenger, has been sentenced to time served in provincial court in Chilliwack.

Last fall, Anthony Creed Cortez stole $30,000 worth of jewelry in a smash-and-grab in Nelson, allegedly crashed a stolen SUV killing companion Danielle Charlton that same day after which he fled in a pickup truck he stole from a Good Samaritan.

On Sept. 11, while wearing a blonde wig, Cortez was caught on security camera breaking the front window of Ted Allen’s Jewellery store in Nelson with a hammer, then smashing open two display cases. He stuffed approximately $30,000 worth of items in a blue lunch bag and left through the broken window.

Later that day, he crashed a stolen Chevrolet Equinox into a highway maintenance vehicle near Hope, killing Charlton. The 35-year-old Aldergrove woman was a mother of four and the subject of a court order forbidding Cortez to be in her presence.

• READ MORE: Aldergrove family remembers victim of fatal crash

At the crash scene, a Good Samaritan driving a Ford F350 stopped to help, but that’s when Cortez stole the pickup and fled the scene.

He has never been charged with the crash that killed Charlton, known as “Deedee” to her family.

In Chilliwack court on Monday, Cortez was convicted of three breaches of court orders forbidding him from contacting Charlton and sentenced to 21 days’ jail.

He was also charged with an assault on Charlton from April 16, but Crown counsel Michelle Wray ordered a stay of proceedings since Crown could not prove the case after the woman’s death.

• READ MORE: Suspect in fatal crash, jewelry heist charged with assault

Nine days after the crash near Hope, Revelstoke RCMP received a call of someone on a stolen motorcycle.

Officers attempted to stop the bike, but Cortez fled, traveling 100 km/h in a 60km/h zone, passing vehicles on a double solid line, and flying through a checkpoint on the east end of the Columbia River Bridge.

An officer later found him in the Canyon Hot Springs campground attempting to break into a cabin. The officer attempted to arrest Cortez, who tried to escape but couldn’t start the motorcycle. The Mountie kicked it over, struck Cortez in the torso, and gave chase on foot.

After a physical altercation, he was eventually arrested, having dropped a knife during the fight.

Cortez was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property over $5,000, willfully resisting a peace officer and assault of a peace officer for the Sept. 20 incident in Revelstoke. He pleaded guilty to all but the assault.

He also pleaded guilty to three other breaches from being caught with Charlton.

Nelson Crown counsel and Cortez’s lawyer, N. Swartz, agreed to a joint sentence of nine months in jail for the jewelry store heist.

Crown asked for 12 months jail for the Revelstoke crimes to run consecutive to the nine months from Nelson, less time served and on top of 12 months’ probation, and a one-year driving prohibition.

Swartz asked for a sentence of seven months and 20 days, essentially the difference between the overall sentence and the time he had already served. Cortez spent 347 days in custody prior to the Aug. 27 sentencing. With the usual 1.5-to-one credit, that amounted to 521 days.

Judge Wendy Young agreed with defence and sentenced Cortez to seven months, meaning he was likely released that day or the next.

After handing down sentence, Cortez addressed the judge. He apologized to the court and to the service members involved with his arrest.

“I put them at risk and heartache and I’ve had some time to think and reflect and I’m sincerely sorry to all of them for my actions,” he said, making no mention of Charlton or her family.

“I stand before you today, you have my word that you won’t see me standing here before you again. I’ve learned my lesson and I want to move on with my life and be a good father for my eight-year-old kid.”

Some family members, including his eight-year-old daughter, were in court for the sentencing.

• READ MORE: Suspect in fatal crash charged in jewelry heist

– with files from Martha Wickett


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

5 to start your day

Australian woman dies in avalanche at Whistler, two boys OK after falling through Coquitlam lake and more

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Most Read