Anthony Cortez and Danielle “Deedee” Charlton are seen in these undated Facebook images. Cortez faces numerous charges after allegedly crashing a stolen vehicle near Hope on Sept. 11, 2017, a crash that killed Charlton.

Suspect in fatal crash near Hope charged in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez sentenced in crime spree in Chilliwack court last August faces more serious charge

A man who allegedly killed his passenger in a crash in Hope in 2017 after a crime spree that went from the Kootenays to the Lower Mainland will now go to trial for that death.

More than eight months ago, Anthony Creed Cortez was sentenced to time served for a series of crimes in 2017 including robbing a jewelry store in Nelson and stealing an SUV, a pickup truck, and a motorcycle.

On Sept. 11, 2017, Cortez smashed a jewelry store window in Nelson and stole $30,000 worth of product. He then stole a Chevrolet Equinox that he crashed into a highway maintenance vehicle near Hope. His companion in the vehicle, Danielle “DeeDee” Charlton, died in the crash.

After a Good Samaritan stopped to help, Cortez stole his pickup truck and fled the scene.

Nine days later he was caught near Revelstoke after stealing a motorcycle and fleeing police. He tried to break into a cabin but was arrested after a fight with a police officer.

In Chilliwack provincial court on Aug. 27, 2018, Cortez was sentenced to time served by Judge Wendy Young. Nelson Crown counsel and Cortez’s lawyer N. Swartz agreed to a joint sentence of nine months in jail for the jewelry store heist. Swartz asked for seven months for the Revestoke crimes, essentially time served, while Crown sought 12 months to run consecutive.

Young agreed with defence submissions.

After handing down sentence, Cortez addressed the judge with an apology 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.”

Cortez was also 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 the case could not be proven after the woman’s death.

Nothing more was said about Charlton’s death at the Aug. 27 hearing, but between then and now, Crown proceeded to lay charges. He now faces six more charges counts: dangerous driving causing death; failure to stop at accident causing bodily harm; theft of motor vehicle; occupying a vehicle knowing a firearm is present; and two counts of possession of a firearm without licence.

The case is scheduled for a one-day focus hearing on Sept. 23 followed by a five-day preliminary inquiry running Dec. 12, 13, 16, 17, 18.

Unless he pleads guilty before ore after those dates, a trial will follow.

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

• 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

Bail denied for alleged Chilliwack firearm thief convicted of similar crime in Alberta

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Moni at the Chilliwack SPCA

This week’s animal is Moni, an obedient 10-year-old Australian shepherd cross at the Chilliwack SPCA

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

Most Read