Man with ‘atrocious’ record sentenced

Penticton teen, who later died of an accidental overdose, told police she was introduced to injecting drugs by the repeat offender.

A 19-year-old Penticton woman, who later died of an accidental overdose, told police she was introduced to injecting drugs by a repeat offender in the Penticton area.

Anthony Donavin Werden, 24, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 months jail time for possession of a stolen vehicle, two counts of obstructing a peace officer, breaking and entering, multiple breaches of probation and failure to appear in court as required relating to incidents in March.

Nelson Selamaj, Werden’s defence counsel objected to the teen’s statements about Werden introducing her to injecting drugs being allowed the sentencing proceedings.

“There’s no information leading from these allegations that the Crown is making. The witness is not here for me to interview her,” Selamaj said.

“Respectfully, there’s no information that comes from these allegations and that’s not why Mr. Werden is before the court,” Selamaj continued.

“It’s a pretty touchy subject,” Werden interjected via video from the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre.

“I know it is. I’ve been sitting here for 27-and-a-half years. I know what’s wheat and what’s chaff and I’m not sentencing you for anything that’s not in front of the court,” said Judge Gail Sinclair.

On March 26, 2015 police received reports of a suspicious occurrence on Roy Avenue and found Werden with the teen.  Werden attempted to run away and when police caught up to him there was a five-minute struggle before he was eventually handcuffed.

Werden was released with a promise to appear in court, but failed to do so on April 1. The next day, six days after being released from custody, police received reports of a stolen vehicle. The Drug Task Force was simultaneously searching for Werden due to outstanding warrants. Werden was located at the home of a known associate where the stolen red 1990 Ford Ranger was found as well.

An officer pulled his vehicle up behind the Ford Ranger and found Werden and the teen to be inside. Werden put the truck into reverse and hit the police vehicle. The officer drew her gun and yelled at Werden telling him he was under arrest. Werden climbed over top of the teen and attempted to flee out of the passenger door.

After a chase involving multiple officers, Werden was once again arrested. Upon examination of the vehicle police located break-in equipment including bolt cutters and screwdrivers and found the ignition of the vehicle had been broken off.

Police also received reports earlier that day there had been damage to three vehicles in the parking lot of Total Restoration Services on Dawson Avenue. Surveillance footage obtained by police identified Werden on multiple cameras during the time that the damages, totalling $450, occurred.

Crown counsel Nashina Devji called Werden’s criminal record “absolutely atrocious” saying he has spent significant periods of time in jail and calling him a “well-rounded offender.”

Werden was convicted of theft under $5,000, assault and breach of probation. He was sentenced to time served in February. Devji said the teen  met Werden after his release from custody.

“Up until that time, the police had no involvement with her,” Devji said.

Selamaj said the facts are not in dispute, but noted the pre-sentence report said that Werden had a “turbulent upbringing.” Selamaj also said that Werden has been in solitary confinement since his April 2 arrest. He cited reports from KRCC staff saying that Werden was placed in a separate unit because he had been assaulted by other inmates, and suffered a broken finger, but that his behaviour had improved.

Werden became emotional when given a chance to speak and said he doesn’t “want to die.”

“Ever since I got prescription medication from a  doctor, I became a junkie. It happened so fast. My life is spiralling out of control. Prison is not helping me, you guys don’t seem to see that. I need help.”

“If her death doesn’t turn the light on for you nothing will,” Judge Sinclair said before giving Werden his sentence. “Here’s a young lady who was still, I think, a teenager, dies needlessly. If that doesn’t turn on the light, nothing will sir.”

 

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read