A man accused of a string of violent incidents throughout the South Okanagan-Similkameen in April 2017 and a pair of stabbings at the Okanagan Correctional Centre is facing yet another violent charge.
One count of assaulting a peace officer was sworn against Afshin Maleki Ighani on April 17, following an alleged incident on March 14.
According to the charge, the alleged assault on a female officer happened in the Oliver area, which would indicate the Okanagan Correctional Centre, as Ighani has been in custody since his arrest on April 22 last year.
In court Thursday morning, a judge noted that Ighani is now believed to be held in the North Fraser Pretrial Centre.
Details on the incident are currently unavailable, and the B.C. Government Employees Union has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Ighani was up for a pretrial conference Thursday morning for matters relating to an alleged crime spree last April, starting in Oliver and ending in Princeton. But the court heard that Ighani has decided to drop defence lawyer Michael Patterson.
Patterson said in court Burnaby lawyer Paul McMurray has now taken on the case, but with a five-day trial set for June 4, the judge expressed concern for whether McMurray will be able to build his own case with that short of notice.
Patterson has been dropped from all of Ighani’s files, including allegations that he stabbed a pair of inmates in OCC on Sept. 9 last year. According to a lawsuit filed by David James McHale, Ighani stabbed McHale and convicted murderer Peter Beckett in the protective custody unit.
Last April, Ighani allegedly shot Thomas Szajko in Oliver, leading to a major police presence on a quiet residential street in the town, where Ighani was believed to have been staying in a camper trailer.
But Ighani was not in the trailer when it was stormed in the early morning of April 20, and police began scouring the South Okanagan-Similkameen. Shots were fired in a mobile home park in Princeton and Ighani was ultimately arrested after he allegedly kidnapped a woman.
A count of attempted murder against Ighani was dropped by the Crown after Szajko died of unrelated causes last fall.
That matter is going to another pretrial conference on May 10 to determine trial readiness from the defence.
The Western News will update with more information on the March assault at OCC as it becomes available.