The decision of whether an Osoyoos man’s progress in rehabilitation means he spends time in jail or in the community gave the judge in his trial enough pause to ask for time to make up his mind.
Colton Jacob Thorsen appeared in court on June 6 to face sentencing for one charge of aggravated assault and one count of uttering threats, both of which he had pleaded guilty to in 2021.
Thorsen had originally been charged with attempted murder, as well as uttering threats and pointing a firearm after a dispute boiled over and he shot a man at his home in October of 2020.
The night of the dispute involved a long back-and-forth conversation between Thorsen and his victim over text, which included expletives and threats from Thorsen to his victim.
Drunk on 26 ounces of liquour, according to the statement he gave police following his arrest, Thorsen went to the house that night and fired two shots. The first missed and hit a railing, while the second buried itself in his victim’s abdomen.
Crown was seeking between 3.5 to four years of jail time, less the 10.5 months he had effectively already served between his arrest and release in 2021.
Defence didn’t argue the length of Thorsen’s sentence, but called for it to be served in the community, followed by a two-year probation based on the strides towards rehabilitation that Thorsen had made since being let out on bail in 2021.
Since then, defence noted, Thorsen had not once brushed up against his bail conditions, has stayed substance-free and had in fact gone to the lengths of leaving the South Okanagan for the Lower Mainland where he had found a spot in a recovery house. He also is working in the trades that he had invested time and money in.
Thorsen himself addressed the court, stumbling over his words a few times to express himself.
“It was a terrible, terrible mistake that I made, I’m terribly sorry. At that point in time I just was in a very dark place, I didn’t have any support,” said Thorsen. “I’m deeply sorry for the trauma I caused him.
“I’m pretty much begging you to give me a chance to keep the way I’m going in life right now. It’s the first time I’ve ever really been happy, to be honest.”
Defence provided a number of letters to the court, including from his current employer, all of which were full of support for Thorsen.
In addition to gainful employment in the construction industry, Thorsen has also taken to working weekends for a charity organization in the Lower Mainland, as well as attending groups every Monday and whenever he has free time.
“If I had a better state of mind, I would have definitely made a different decision,” said Thorsen.
The judge noted the difficulty between the seriousness of Thorsen’s crime and the progress that he had made since being released before stating that he would need time to come to a decision.
There is not currently a date scheduled for when the judge will deliver his verdict on Thorsen’s fate.
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